Crowds turn out in force to see Hartlepool Christmas light switch on

Boxing champion Savannah Marshall and X Factor star Molly Scott joined forces with three inspirational youngsters to turn on the Hartlepool Christmas lights.

The rainy night failed to dampen the festive spirit, with large crowds turning out to the annual event in Church Square to enjoy a range of musical entertainment.

Mayor of Hartlepool Cloun Allan Barclay with (left to right) Dottie O'Keefe with her mum Helen Moon, Molly Scott, Savannah Marshall, Neisha Webb and Jessica Stones turning on the Christmas lights in Hartlepool.

Mayor of Hartlepool Cloun Allan Barclay with (left to right) Dottie O'Keefe with her mum Helen Moon, Molly Scott, Savannah Marshall, Neisha Webb and Jessica Stones turning on the Christmas lights in Hartlepool.

Miss Toni’s Academy Choir sang Christmas classics, while Newcastle singer Channy Thompson got the crowd going with a number of hits.

Durham City acoustic trio North Road also performed ahead of the big switch on.

Turning on the lights was brave youngster Dottie O’Keefe, who is making amazing progress to walk despite having cerebral palsy, Keep Britain Tidy Litter Hero Jessica Stones and 12-year-old Neisha Webb who has become a talented cheerleader against the odds, with the help of a prosthetic blade.

Easington singer Molly Scott, and town boxing champion Savannah Marshall also joined the Mayor, Councillor Allan Barclay in pressing the button.

Performers from Miss Toni's Academy Choir at the Hartlepool Christmas light switch on.

Performers from Miss Toni's Academy Choir at the Hartlepool Christmas light switch on.

Coun Barclay said: “It is a fantastic event and great 
to see all the kids come together.

“It is also a great advertisement for Church Street and Church Square.”

Over the past year Church Street and Church Square have undergone a £3.4million council scheme to revitalise the area.

X Factor star Molly Scott said: “It is lovely to be back home and have a bit of down time, especially with it being near to Christmas.

Crowds at the Hartlepool Christmas light switch on.

Crowds at the Hartlepool Christmas light switch on.

“It is nice to be here today to switch on the lights.

“I went to school in Hartlepool and I know a few people here tonight.”

Meanwhile Neisha Webb’s proud mum Liz Webb said Neisha being asked to turn on the Christmas lights has come as a lovely surprise.
She said: “It is great to see so many people come along.”

X Factor finalist Molly Scott at the Hartlepool Christmas light switch on. Picture by FRANK REID

X Factor finalist Molly Scott at the Hartlepool Christmas light switch on. Picture by FRANK REID

The Hartlepool Christmas lights. Picture by FRANK REID

The Hartlepool Christmas lights. Picture by FRANK REID

Lacey Smailes (4) with Michelle Roberts playing Cinderella at the Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre in December performing at the Hartlepool Christmas light switch on. Picture by FRANK REID

Lacey Smailes (4) with Michelle Roberts playing Cinderella at the Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre in December performing at the Hartlepool Christmas light switch on. Picture by FRANK REID