Hackney Town Hall Square lights switched on

Hundreds gather to see the live event

HUNDREDS of people turned out to see Christmas lights being switched on in Hackney Town Hall Square on 1 December.

There were visitors from the local area, and as far away as the USA and Tenerife. While children and adults who had just been to see Puss in Boots at Hackney Empire were in good spirits as they waited to see the square illuminated. 

The bespoke Christmas tree is one of five situated around the borough – as part of the Make Hackney Sparkle programme of events – and is designed by House of Hackney.

Other designer trees located around the borough include Emma Cook's pink creation in Stoke Newington; Holly Fulton’s monochrome installation in Hackney Wick; Louise Gray's multi-coloured Dalston tree; and hat maker Piers Atkinson’s Shoreditch tree.

The Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Michael Desmond, addressed the crowd and told a few Christmas cracker jokes before handing the proceedings over to Kat B, who is starring in the Empire's hit panto, to flick the switch.  

The Hackney Empire Community Choir were on hand to mark the occasion with a mix of classic and modern songs. 

Valerie Baysan, 62, brought her Shetland sheepdog Amy down to see the Christmas lights. She said: “It’s the most beautiful tree that’s been here for a long time. I’ve lived in Hackney for 40 years and this is splendid, not just for children but adults too.”