CHRISTMAS tradition was honoured in Blackrod tonight for the village’s tree light switch on.

Crowds gathered around the tree in Black Horse Street for the annual event, which began at 6.30pm.

Children from the youth council of Blackrod Church School and Blackrod Primary School turned on the Christmas tree lights alongside Mayor of Blackrod Ann Cunliffe and decorated the tree with a personalised bauble each.

Also at the event was the Mayor of Bolton Councillor Lynda Byrne and consort John Byrne alongside Horwich Mayor of Horwich Jim Bullock and Mayor of Westhoughon Anne Graham.

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Headteacher of Blackrod Church School James Royal accompanied the youth council to the event and stressed the importance of keeping such an event going and involving the children who are “the future generation” of the village.

Reverend Angela Wynne opened the celebrations and introduced the first carol of the evening Away in a Manager which was accompanied by Rivington and Blackrod Brass Band who also played While Shepherds Watched and O Come All Ye Faithful.

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Mother-of-one Lorna Mullins, who’s son Joshua, aged 11, is in the youth council of Blackrod Primary said: “It is important for children to understand that communities still come together.

“Events like these are a nice thing to do.

“I don’t think children get to experience it in this day and age as much as perhaps I got to when I was younger.

“So it is important for children to see it and they really enjoy it.”

Blackrod Church pupil Georgia McKenzie didn’t want to miss the opportunity to light the Christmas tree so much she refused to go to hospital, after a tumble in school left her on crutches.

Year Five teacher Rebecca Payne: “She was playing hockey for the school team and went over on her foot but she refused to go to hospital until she had been here!”

The village has two trees, one in Manchester Road, which was provided by Bolton Council in 2010 and the one that was lit tonight and bought by the town council in 2011.

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Mayor Ann Cunliffe said: “It is a wonderful event and we have kicked off Christmas in Blackrod.

“The youth council are a main element of Blackrod and it was lovely to light up the tree with them.

“It is an important tradition which is done thorough the town council and a lot of work is put into it especially by the town clerk.”

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