THIS brilliantly festive shot was sent in by reader David McKee, of Fryent Close, Bolton, who can actually be seen standing on the first floor ledge observing the spectacle of Father Christmas arriving at the main Co-op store in ‘The Black Falcon’.

Although he is not certain of the exact date, David, 79, remembers working as an apprentice electrician in the mid-1950s alongside Ken Lee, with the pair of them tasked with erecting the Christmas lights and trees shown in the photograph.

David said: “This was obviously before the Health and Safety at Work Act, as the whole procedure was as follows: first, the complete cables, lamps and floodlights were loaded onto a handcart at the engineer’s workshop in Bridge Street and pushed through the town centre to the back of the store in Old Hall Street. They were then unloaded and sent up in the goods lift to the top floor where it was manhandled onto the roof where the festoons were made up.

“Then one of us climbed over the balustrades at the top and lowered the festoon to the other who had to catch it and secure the swinging end. When all that was complete, the supply was connected.

“I will not go into the erection and lighting of the Christmas trees - suffice to say it was extremely hazardous!”

Only part of the huge display can be seen in the photograph as it went around the corner down the length of the building in Oxford Street.

Situated on the west corner of Oxford Street and Victoria Square, the Co-op store opened in 1928 and was designed by Bradshaw Gass and Hope, Bolton’s oldest architectural practice, which was founded in 1862 and has practiced from its current offices in Silverwell Street, Bolton, since 1871.

David added: “The removal of all the lights in January, when the weather was worse, was another problem as we had to cope with the wind, rail, hail, snow and freezing fog. Nothing could be lowered onto the street level and it had to go over the top of the building.”

If you can help identify the year the photograph was taken please get in touch with / 01204 537015.