Video and photo gallery: Beccles gets all lit up for the festive season

Beccles Hungate church annual Christmas tree festival.

Beccles Hungate church annual Christmas tree festival. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The centre of Beccles was transformed into a magical Christmas array of sparkling lights and happy faces as the town got lit up for the festive season.

Town mayor Caroline Topping was joined by BBC television's weather presenter Julie Reinger to perform the opening ceremony at New Market.

'Beccles has a special place in my heart as I have so many friends in the area. I am delighted to be here and wish you all a Merry Christmas,' said Julie.

Thousands of people joined in the countdown and right on cue the lights came on to great cheers from the waiting crowd.

A number of charities and other good causes had stalls placed around the centre of town and people of all ages enjoyed the festive occasion.

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This year also saw the launch of the first Christmas tree trail competition in Beccles with 50 shops in the town joining together to run the event which carries on until Christmas Eve.

Entry forms are available at town centre shops and businesses including the Beccles and Bungay Journal and EDP offices in Blyburgate.

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It has been a record breaking year for the organisers of the Hungate Christmas Tree Festival at Beccles.

The festival opened this evening as part of the town's official switch-on of the Christmas lights.

The church is filled with 55 trees decorated by schools, organisations and charities from the Beccles area.

Barbara Sigsworth, one of the organisers, said: 'This is our 11th year of holding the Christmas tree festival.

'We have a record entry and what is so pleasing is that more than 20 of the entries have come from children,' she said.

The trees have been decorated in a range of themes and together they make a superb display of glittering lights.

Themes include famous women, Fairtrade products, feeding the wildlife in winter, playing in the snow and following the brightest star.

The festival at Hungate Church, Hungate, Beccles is open tomorrow (Saturday) from 9.30am to 4.30pm and on Sunday, December 1, from noon until 5pm.

Admission is £2 and accompanied children are free.

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