Christmas lights switched on across Newham

Children enjoy the Father Christmas parade at Gallions Reach Shopping Centre

Children enjoy the Father Christmas parade at Gallions Reach Shopping Centre - Credit: Archant

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as lights went up across the borough this weekend.

The switch on of the Stratford lights

The switch on of the Stratford lights - Credit: Andrew Baker

The cast of Peter Pan, which is being performed at Barking’s Broadway Theatre, headed to Gallions Reach to switch on the shopping park’s festive lights.

Shoppers could also enjoy a parade featuring Santa, his elves and a bunch of young performers.

If you like your talent more musical than theatrical, X Factor’s Jay James was at Stratford Centre to launch their festive offering.

Children enjoy the Father Christmas parade at Gallions Reach Shopping Centre

Children enjoy the Father Christmas parade at Gallions Reach Shopping Centre - Credit: Archant

He took to the stage at the end of an afternoon of performances and entertainment in the shopping centre.


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East Ham was lit up by children from schools across the borough who created lanterns to take part in a parade from the market hall.

Michelle Fitzgibbons, marketing manager at East Ham Market Hall, said: “The kids worked so hard on their lanterns, they were amazing.”

Children enjoy the Father Christmas parade at Gallions Reach Shopping Centre

Children enjoy the Father Christmas parade at Gallions Reach Shopping Centre - Credit: Archant

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Following entertainment including choirs, a Punch and Judy show and Santa’s Grotto, the lights in Stratford and East Ham were switched on by the Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales.

He said: “I look forward to switching on the Christmas lights every year as it signals the start of the festive season.

“It was great to see so many Newham residents coming along braving the cold temperatures and having fun.

Jay James meets a fan

Jay James meets a fan - Credit: Laura Matthews

“Christmas is the time to come together to celebrate and enjoy each others company.”

The festive fun is set to be embraced even further as two Christmas markets arrive in the borough.

The Royal Docks Community Christmas Market is taking place on Pier Parade between noon and 4pm on Saturday, while on December 6, Woodgrange Market will have an array of festive entertainment ahead of the lights being switch on at 6pm.

A young boy posts a letter to Father Christmas at Stratford Centre (picture: Donnall O'Fearraig/iWit

A young boy posts a letter to Father Christmas at Stratford Centre (picture: Donnall O'Fearraig/iWitness) - Credit: citizenside.com

Children with Sir Robin Wales at the East Ham lantern parade (photo: Andrew Baker)

Children with Sir Robin Wales at the East Ham lantern parade (photo: Andrew Baker) - Credit: Andrew Baker

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