Crowds turn out for Clifton’s big festive lights switch-on

Several thousand people turned up to watch the lights on the Christmas tree in Clifton village being switched on by actor and broadcaster Joe Sims. 

The 50-foot Norwegian spruce in The Mall Gardens is decorated with 5,000 LED lights,100 baubles and wrapped boxes of Christmas presents.

 “It’s a great honour to be asked to switch on the lights,” Joe Sims told the crowd.

“This is a great community, and that’s what I’m all about, people getting together and enjoying themselves. It’s great that so many people have come to Clifton to join in the festive spirit.”

Bristol-born Joe is best known for his role as Nige, the plumber, in ITV’s drama series, Broadchurch. He now presents BBC Radio Bristol’s flagship Breakfast programme on weekday mornings.

Before the switch-on singers from nearby Christ Church led a half-hour of community carol singing. 

Among the special guests at the switch-on was the Acting Lord Mayor of Bristol Councillor Steve Pearce.

Tony Miles, who organises the event each year on behalf of BID Clifton (Business Improvement District) said:  “There’s no doubt that this is Clifton’s biggest social event of the year. People come from all over Bristol and beyond to see the lights.” 

BID Clifton chairman Chris Firth said:  “We have to thank the traders for funding this event including the cost of the tree. Without their help it probably wouldn’t happen.”