Words: John Baron
Photos: Si Cliff
Thousands of people flocked to Town Street to enjoy a fantastic firework display and some splendid singing and entertainment at Farsley’s Christmas lights switch-on.
The lights were switched on by three-year-old Elsie Payne, who has a heart condition and has been recovering from a major operation.
A parade also made its way through the centre of Farsley and there was a successful mini Christmas farmers’ market in Sunny Bank Mills’ car park.
Both Truman’s Bookshop and Cafe Deli Margeaux won prizes for best-dressed shop windows.
John Procter of #Farsley thanks the businesses who decorated windows for Farsley Lights switch on!— FarsleyFarmersMarket (@FarsleyMarket) December 2, 2021
This year an independent judge was asked to coose the winning display and, for the first time, there were joint winners!!@TrumanBooks and #CafeDeliMargaux Congratulations to both pic.twitter.com/BjztKlaiVw
Chair of the Farsley Business Forum, Councillor Andrew Carter (Calverley & Farsley), declared Wednesday night’s switch-on a great success. He said:
“The parade was excellent, particularly given the present circumstances. It was absolutely splendid, led by the Leeds Pipe Band, Santa on his sleigh, floats from the Scouts, and young people from Westroyd, Farfield and Springbank Junior Schools in Farsley. We are very grateful to the teachers, parents and carers for their support.
”The lights were turned on by Elsie Payne known as Farsley’s Art Warrior, who has been recovering from a serious operation. She was helped, of course, by Ronnie the Rhino.”
The lights event and parade has a long history in the village and Farsley was at the forefront before other areas decided to have their own switch ons.
In 1984 a number of local shopkeepers, people in the village and their local councillor held a meeting about what could be done in Farsley at Christmas to attract people to our community.
This was achieved, just as it is now, by raising money wherever they could. At one time each of the shopkeepers put up a Christmas Tree in the brackets supplied.
The band of people organising it has got a lot smaller over the years and raising money has proved more difficult but 35 years on three of the original organisers are still there, determined to see it continue.
Farsley Advent Window Trail
Local residents are also an Advent Window Trail of festive homes around the village – with onehgopuse for each day of advent. Here’s a map for people to follow: