Burnley village bids to become most festive in Lancashire after hundreds brave Storm Diana for Christmas lights switch on

Burnley Council Leader Coun, Mark Townsend (left) with Worsthorne parish councillor and committee member of the Friends of Worsthorne and Hurstwood group Andy Devanney.
Burnley Council Leader Coun, Mark Townsend (left) with Worsthorne parish councillor and committee member of the Friends of Worsthorne and Hurstwood group Andy Devanney.
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Clarets legend Willie Irvine was joined by Father Christmas himself to switch on the Worsthorne Christmas lights as a bumper crowd turned out for the event despite storm Diana making an unwelcome appearance.


And organisers are hoping that every resident will decorate their homes in a bid to make the village the most Christmassy in the county.

Some of the lit tree baubles dotted around Worsthorne as it bids to become the most festive village in Lancashire.

Some of the lit tree baubles dotted around Worsthorne as it bids to become the most festive village in Lancashire.

The Friends of Worsthorne and Hurstwood planned the event with support from the parish council who organised
additional festive lights on Brownside Road.

Local suppliers also held stalls on the village green but disaster struck when around half of them had their gazebos destroyed in the storm just before the event started.

But this certainly did not dampen the community spirit of the dozens of people who turned out in force to make the night a success.

Committee member and parish councillor, Andy Devanney, said: ”It looked like the beginning of the Wizard of Oz at one point.

Father Christmas arrives in style on his sleigh at the Worsthorne festive lights switch on.

Father Christmas arrives in style on his sleigh at the Worsthorne festive lights switch on.

"It was such a shame that so many stalls were ruined but there was definitely a great community spirit and attitude of the show must go on.

"Thanks to everyone who braved the weather to help out.

"It would be superb if we could make Worsthorne the most festive and Christmassy village in Lancashire."

Star guest Willie Irving came to Burnley in 1959 and settled in Worsthorne after career that saw him bag 78 goals for the Turf Moor outfit, 37 of them coming in the 1965/66 season with 29 of those in the league, a post-war record that still stands to this day.

Clarets legend Willie Irving prepares to switch on the Worsthorne Christmas lights

Clarets legend Willie Irving prepares to switch on the Worsthorne Christmas lights

Willie said: ”I feel privileged to have been asked to switch the Christmas lights on. There is a lovely feel about this
village right now and I hope the people support the local pubs, shops and businesses."

The Friends group also made some giant baubles to hang around the village square which they’re hoping people will copy. Details can be found on their facebook page.

Chairman of the Friends group Louise Darcy said: “Last year’s switch on was such a success we wanted to make it even bigger and better this year.

"Our baubles are looking fantastic. They’re pretty simple to make from wire hanging baskets.

"We’d love to see as many as possible around the village.”

For more information follow @FriendsOWAH or visit www.worsthorneandhurstwood.co.uk