Spectators flock to the Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, for Christmas lights switch-on

Darlington and Stockton Times: Barnard Castle's town mayor, Frank Harrison (right) with Barnard Castle's town crier and the museum's traditional green Santa Barnard Castle's town mayor, Frank Harrison (right) with Barnard Castle's town crier and the museum's traditional green Santa

CHRISTMAS celebrations are underway at a North-East museum.

Spectators packed into the foyer of The Bowes Museum, in Barnard Castle, to witness the popular annual ceremony of switching on the Christmas tree lights, by TV antiques expert David Harper.

Northumbrian pipers played traditional tunes, local choir No Added Sugar performed carols and children were enchanted by a green Santa’s grotto at the event, which was organised by the Friends of the Bowes Museum.

Following an introduction by the Town Crier, town mayor Councillor Frank Harrison, launched Barnard Castle Town Council’s Twelve Days of Christmas initiative.

There will be a Christmas market in the grounds of the museum on Saturday, December 21 and Sunday, December 22, from 10am to 4pm, both days.

The event comprises 100 stalls featuring gifts and produce from local suppliers, including meats, chocolates, Christmas cakes, liqueurs, festive wreaths, toys, jewellery, paintings and pottery.

A Santa’s grotto will be open in the museum from 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.00pm. Entry is £3 per child, including a gift and activities.

A park and ride system, using vintage double decker buses, will be in operation from the GlaxoSmithKline car park, on Harmire Road, leaving at regular intervals from 10.20am.

Disabled drivers can park free of charge in the museum grounds, on production of their badge. There will be a £5 charge for other motorists parking onsite at the facility.

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