City’s pulled out all the stops

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Lancaster, this Christmas you’ve shown us all what a classy old bird you really are.

If you were in human form you’d have a very refined accent and wear pearls, do a Pilates class twice a week, drive a soft-top Mercedes SLK, reek of Chanel No.5 and be able to drink any of the fat old bores at the golf club under the table.

Also, you’d have a full set of first pressing Beatles, Rolling Stones and David Bowie LPs (up to 1980, everything after that was so-so) that you play way too loud on Friday nights, but what really makes you twerk at parties like a backing dancer in a rap video and horrify the grandchildren is when early 70s Stones come on. Not that you give a toss what anyone thinks. And we adore you for it.

The reason for this Lancaster love-in? The city’s finally showing what it can do when it feels like it.

For example, Dalton Square has been transformed into an actual winter wonderland that people who don’t live here will drive from miles away to visit, now that there’s something else to see here apart from traffic jams and student flats. The ice rink is phenomenal, watching people skating around the Queen Victoria statue, even in the freezing cold and lashing rain, is testament to what a magnificent attraction it is.

I’d have a go myself but if the consultant who put my shattered elbow and wrist back together after a cycling accident in July (sold the bike last week, yay!) caught me skidding about on the ice he’d faint.

And as for the big wheel next to the ice rink, well, it looks great in daylight, but when it goes dark (currently at about 10 to 4, ouch!) it truly is magical. The first time you see it in all its illuminated glory you can’t stop yourself from saying “Wow!”

The whole thing looks like something out of a Hollywood Christmas movie from the 1980s. Fingers crossed it turns a few quid and the organisers build it year after year.

Then there’s Lancaster Castle, which to the untrained eye looks to have rebranded itself as Hogwarts with a world-class cafe. Well done, Lancaster.

And Happy Christmas!