Festive fun in the park

Youngsters taking part in the Christingle service in Ward Jackson Park
Youngsters taking part in the Christingle service in Ward Jackson Park

A PARK was transformed into a winter wonderland as dozens took part in a Christmas tradition.

The Friends of Ward Jackon Park hold a Christingle in Hartlepool’s Victorian green space every year.

Last Friday saw crowds gather at the Place in the Park cafe with their oranges and candles as they got into the festive spirit.

Popular Yuletide fair was also on offer to those who braved the cold and rain.

Traditionally a Christingle consists of an orange that represents the world, a red ribbon tied round the orange to represent the blood of Jesus.

Fruits and sweets are skewered on four cocktail sticks which are pushed into the orange representing God’s gifts and a lighted candle pushed into the centre of the orange also representing Christ.

Rachel Wilson, chairwoman of the park volunteer group, said: “People often say that they see the Christingle as the start of Christmas.

“It’s a chance for people to wrap up warm and really get into the festive spirit.

“We had a good turnout and were delighted to see so many people there. In fact, every single Christingle went, which is a first.

“There must have been at least 200 children there, which is incredible. It went really well.”

The soggy ground was in contrast to last year when inches of snow mixed with freezing temperatures cut the service short as people could not stay out long in the cold.

Rachel added: “It was a fantastic night and we cannot thank the people who came along enough.”

The Friends of Ward Jackson Park also hold a big summer extravaganza and an Easter fair in the park, which they take pride in promoting and helping to maintain.