Christmas spirit comes to Stalybridge at switch-on

LOCAL talent was again given the opportunity to shine at the Stalybridge lights switch-on.

All the performers at the two-hour event in Armentieres Square were from the town.

There was the choir from Arlies Primary, 12-year-old singer Matthew Brennan, Sarah England School of Dance, well-known busker Dan Hedfield and Stalybridge Old Band.

The show, put on by local councillors and Stalybridge Town Team, drew large crowds to a packed town centre.

“It went really well and there were lots of people in the town which is great. The performers, all local, were brilliant,” explained Cllr Leanne Feeley who heads the organising committee.

Cllr Feeley admitted there is pressure on the committee, all volunteers, to put on a decent show on a limited budget.

It was funded by one significant donation from a local business while the committee also has a small amount of income.

She said: “While we don’t have a lot of money, there is a lot of good spirit in Stalybridge and cross-party support to deliver the best we can.

“We receive terrific support from the likes of Broadbents, who provided an articulated lorry for the stage.”

Cllr Feeley continued: “The spirit in Stalybridge is amazing and the way the public come out to support events in the town. It was great to see the town come to life.

“We are the envy of other towns because when I speak to others they say how lucky we are to get such support for our events.”

Cllr Feeley also answered criticisms after several complaints about the prices charged for fairground rides and refreshments.

She said: “I am aware one or two people made comments about the prices.

“It is difficult as the fairground helps us generate income and support for what is a free event.

“We would love to do everything at no cost, but it is very difficult to put on that kind of event on such a small budget.

“I understand the fairground is not for everyone but there are people who like it.”

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