Dec 5 2013 by Sophie McCoid, Ormskirk Advertiser
THE countdown to Christmas began in earnest last week as towns all over West Lancashire turned on their lights, creating a festive glow.
In Ormskirk hundreds of people braved the cold, with the rain holding off so they could sing carols and join in the big countdown to the switch-on.
West Lancashire Mayor Cllr Iain Ashcroft helped to host the evening.
Cllr Ashcroft said: “The Christmas lights switch-on was a wonderful evening and we are very grateful to Bruce Jones and everyone else involved who made the event so special.”
Sean Chapman, 29, who was at the event with his four-year-old son, Rory, said: “It is really great to see such a big effort being made. I don’t normally like shopping, but when all the lights are up I think it really makes people want to come to the town. Me and Rory have had a great evening.”
Bruce Jones, who played loveable rogue Les Battersby in Coronation Street, is aiming for a Christmas number one, having teamed up with Black Lace’s Dene Michael to record Sing Out For Christmas, which he performed at the event.
Burscough Wharf’s festive season began as crowds flocked to join the celebrations. Hundreds lined the streets to wave to Santa and his elves on board one of Merseyside Transport Trust’s open top buses followed by illuminated motorbikes from North West Goldwings.
The festive parade prompted encouraging toots from passing cars, before arriving at Lord Street, where Santa headed for his grotto.
Pupils from Burscough Priory High School Choir sang and the lights were switched on by the Mayor and Mayoress of West Lancashire to music performed by Tarleton Brass Band.
In Tarleton a large crowd gathered in Mark Square to see the Christmas tree lights switched on to the sound of hymns played by Tarleton Brass Band.