Community celebrates Fellgate's first Christmas light switch on event
Residents braved the miserable weather to celebrate the start of the festive season in Fellgate this weekend.
Around 200 people gathered at Hedworthfield community centre in Fellgate, Jarrow on Saturday, November 23, for the community’s inaugural Christmas tree light switch on.
The event, organised by Hedworthfield CA and the Friends of St Joseph’s R C Primary School, was the first of its kind to be held for residents in the area.
It followed Jarrow’s official light switch on, which took place in the town centre on Friday, November 22.
Luckily the rain held off while the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Norman Dick and Jean Williamson officially turned on the Christmas tree lights.
However, the real stars of the show were the children from Fellgate Primary, St Joseph's and Macmullen School of Performing Arts, who got everyone in the spirit of things with their Christmas carols.
Volunteers held a variety of activities and entertainment for youngsters throughout the evening, including face painting, festive crafts, a magic show and a chance to meet Santa.
Councillor Geraldine Kilgour for Felllgate and Hedworth said: “It was such a great night, everyone has said how fantastic it was and what made it perfect was that it didn’t rain, after the awful weather all day.”
The event was supported by funding from the Community Area Forum and with help from South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes.
She continued: “We always have a celebratory evening of some kind at Christmas, but we felt that the children love the light switch on event in Jarrow so much, we wanted to do something personal for the immediate community that we serve.
“It’s a time of year that can be difficult for some and events like this really galvanise the community. There was a lovely warm feel about the whole thing, it was a real community effort.”
The turning on of the Christmas tree lights is now expected to become an annual event in Fellgate.
Coun Kilgour added: “I’d just like to thank everyone for taking part and South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes for their support, without them we couldn’t do what we do.”