It was a sight to see – a six-foot Santa and tiny four-year- old Wilf Scott-Ford helping Longridge mayor Coun Sarah Rainford switch on the town Christmas tree lights.
They were launching one of the first events for the annual Longridge Does Christmas, but Wilf – not long returned from France after treatment for severe eczema – took everything in his small stride.
He had also been part of the blessing of the crib in the Garden of Remembrance, with Longridge Band leading the carols and the Christmas story told by Churches Together in Longridge’s clergy Rev David Anderson, Father Harry Doyle and Father David Chinnery.
Then shoppers took off around the town to the shops, the Youth Club’s Santa’s Grotto, the hog and beef roasts, the children’s fairground – which had to be cancelled at the week-end because of high wind danger – and the busy cafes. The ‘Victorian’ volunteers at the Heritage Centre spooked visitors to their Dickens of a Scrooge showcase with both live and mock personnel – but balanced it with their amazing Christmas story exhibition which led into the Design Platform’s artisan market with its crafts and gifts.
Berry Lane looked fabulous with the Christmas trees lit up, the shop windows dressed in festive wares and tinsel and the yarn bombing decorations which appeared during the week.
As the mayor says in her letter, how lucky the town was with the weather on Friday.
She said: “It could have very different picture 24 hours later. Our thoughts must go out to communities in parts of Lancashire and Cumbria who suffered the onslaught of Storm Desmond.
“It is hoped that the towns and villages affected have the strength of togetherness and cohesion that is demonstrated by Longridge and surrounding areas pulling together for the benefit of all.”