The Night The Christmas Lights Went On In Old Street

Christmas lights switch-ons east of the M60 motorway, and more besides!

With only weeks to go till Christmas, the highlight for most shoppers and shopkeepers is the local Christmas lights switch-on. From the big budget extravaganzas to traditional celebrations, the important of which cannot be underestimated in towns and villages the world over. Greater Manchester, including our area east of the M60 motorway is no exception.

Though not a complete list, here’s a rundown of most of the Christmas lights switch-ons that are about to take place this year. For reasons of clarity, only principal bus routes with a full time service or partial service around the time of the switch-on are detailed for each entry.

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Christmas parade from The Heywood pub to St. Luke’s Parish Church. Also includes mince pies and drinks at the church, a concert, DJ, brass bands and other attractions.

  • Date: Saturday 15 November 2014;
  • Switch-on time: 5.15pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 163, 471;
  • Nearest railway station: Heywood (ELR).


Christmas markets and craft fair starting at 2.00pm, plus appearance from Father Christmas and elves at 5.00pm.

  • Date: Saturday 22 November 2014
  • Switch-on time: 5.30pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 528, 589, 590;
  • Nearest railway station: Littleborough.


A fun-packed extravaganza awaits visitors to Middleton’s switch-on with a family funfair at Middleton Gardens. Before the switch-on, there will be festive food, mulled wine and live entertainment during the day. A fireworks display will round off the festivities.

  • Date: Saturday 15 November 2014
  • Switch-on time: 6.30pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 17, 18, 58, 59, 112, 118, 415;
  • Nearest railway station: Mills Hill.


Switching on Rochdale’s Christmas lights will be Littleborough born X Factor contestant Danny Dearden. There will be a Christmas parade down Yorkshire Street at 3.30pm with live performances from Mr. Dearden himself and a number of surprise guests from 4.00pm. As with Middleton’s event a week earlier, a fireworks display will round off the festivities.

  • Date: Saturday 15 November 2014
  • Switch-on time: 4.50pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 17, 58, 409, 471, 528, 589, 590;
  • Nearest railway station: Rochdale;
  • Nearest tram stop: Rochdale Interchange.


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24 hours after Rochdale’s event, another act from another Syco production will be entrusted with putting the big light on. This time, Britain’s Got Talent stars Bars and Melody. Also present at Sunday’s event will be Ben and Holly from Ben and Holly’s Kingdom. At odds with previous switch-ons, there will be a change of venue from the usual vantage point at Market Place. This year’s celebration will be taking place on the car park of Tommyfield Market. Fireworks will round off proceedings.

  • Date: Sunday 16 November 2014;
  • Switch-on time: 5.15pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 59, 76, 81, 81A, 83, 180, 184, 343, 350, 408, 409, 425;
  • Nearest railway station: Mills Hill;
  • Nearest tram stops: King Street, Oldham Central, Oldham Mumps.

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The Christmas Market returns to Ashton-under-Lyne this St. Andrew’s Day with the whole event starting with a lantern parade, fairground rides, carol singers and brass bands. To round off proceedings will be a fireworks display.

  • Date: Sunday 30 November 2014;
  • Switch-on time: 6.00pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 38, 39, 41, 168, 169, 216, 219, 330 – 3, 346 – 8, 350, 409;
  • Nearest railway station: Ashton-under-Lyne;
  • Nearest tram stop: Ashton-under-Lyne.


A traditional celebration with a fun fair, school choir and Father Christmas awaits the people of Audenshaw on a late midweek in November. There will also be music from Droylsden St. John’s Castle Band. Christmas presents will be available for the first 100 children.

  • Date: Wednesday 26 November 2014;
  • Start time: 5.00pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 216, 217;
  • Nearest railway station: Guide Bridge;
  • Nearest tram stop: Audenshaw.


Denton’s switch-on will take place in the civic square, where a Christmas Market will also be held.

  • Date: Saturday 22 November 2014;
  • Start time: 6.30pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 201, 204, 206, 322, 324, 327, 345, 347;
  • Nearest railway station: Hyde Central (no service from Denton).


A super Saturday awaits Droylsdonians in the run-up to Christmas with live entertainment from 2.00pm and a funfair on Greenside Lane. There will also be a craft fair in the Concord Suite from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The lights will be switched on for 6.30pm, followed by a fireworks display.

  • Date: Saturday 29 November 2014;
  • Switch-on time: 6.30pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 168, 169, 216, 217, 231;
  • Nearest railway station: Fairfield (short walk then 217 or 408 bus to Droylsden from the Trough, Audenshaw).
  • Nearest tram stop: Droylsden.


Dukinfield’s switch-on will as per usual, take place outside Dukinfield Town Hall. Musical entertainment will be provided for by The Yew Tree Singers. There will also be an appearance from Father Christmas and a postbox for letters to Santa himself.

  • Date: Thursday 27 November 2014;
  • Start time: 6.00pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 41, 330;
  • Nearest railway stations: Hyde North, Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge.


The recently refurbished market ground and civic square will play host to Hyde’s switch-on. From the nearby town hall, there will also be live entertainment and fireworks.

  • Date: Friday 27 November 2014;
  • Start time: 6.30pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 201, 204, 206, 330, 343, 346, 389;
  • Nearest railway stations: Hyde Central, Newton (for Hyde).






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Merseyway Shopping Centre is set to play host to what is The Mother of All Lights Switch-Ons outside of Manchester city centre and the intu Trafford Centre. The whole event starts at 4.30pm with a number of local acts and guests, including:

  • Jermain Jackman (winner of The Voice);
  • Gary Damer (CBBC);
  • Bailey McConnell, Mr. Zip, Harry Mondryk (Britain’s Got Talent);
  • Ever Young;
  • NK Theatre Arts;
  • Blank Cheque;
  • Stella Maris School.

With the amount of guests and the joys of Stopfordian midweek traffic, please arrive as early as possible!

  • Date: Wednesday 12 November 2014;
  • Switch-on time: 7.00pm;
  • Principal bus routes: 22, 42, 192, 199, 203, 330, 358, 369, 370, 383, 384;
  • Nearest railway station: Stockport.


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City Centre

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a trip to the city’s Christmas markets and its star-studded lights switch-on. This year’s guests in Albert Square are:

  • Jason Manford;
  • Warwick Davis (presenter of ITV’s Celebrity Squares);
  • Collabro (Britain’s Got Talent);
  • Shayne Ward (2009 winner of The X Factor);.

And of course, owing to the scale of the occasion, arrive early as possible to avoid disappointment! If you work in Manchester, why not have stay for the switch-on?

  • Date: Friday 7 November 2014;
  • Switch-on time: 7.30pm;
  • Nearest railway stations: Manchester Victoria, Manchester Oxford Road;
  • Nearest tram stop: St. Peter’s Square.


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Will You Be Going?

Feel free to mention any other switch-ons that are missing from this entry. I would be most grateful of any details for Stalybridge, Mossley, the Saddleworth area, and other parts of the Oldham and Stockport Metropolitan Borough boundaries. Any corrections appreciated as always.

S.V., 24 October 2014.


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