HEREFORD’S Christmas lights are twinkling, and a tree stands tall in High Town.

This year's festive affair saw a Netflix camera crew on scene to film act Let Loose as they took to the stage, while 80s pop star Rick Astley led the countdown to the switch-on by video link.

Here, we have taken a walk through the archives to remember Hereford’s Christmas lights of years gone by.

Hereford Times:

Huge crowds have been drawn to the annual switch-on event over the years to admire the decorations and watch a host of famous faces officially kick off the festive season.

In 1965, Hereford’s Christmas spirit was highlighted by the appearance of three enormous angels crafted by now world-famous sculptor, Walenty Pytel, then 23.

The four-metre celestial beings, commissioned for a modest £100 by Hereford City Council, towered above shoppers in High Town.


Long-time friend, Kington historian Roger Pye, said the angels and accompanying polystyrene snowflakes caused quite a stir. “The angels prompted much publicity in the national papers and on TV. They caused uproar,” he said.

The sculptor well remembers the commission. “I made sculptures that hung on metal rods – 400 of them around the town,” he said. “But there was a lot of wind, the circling steel got very hot and the pieces fell off.”

Hereford Times:

Walenty’s decorations were retired, later replaced by the much-loved festive decorations seen in 2005, when the city centre was packed as people flocked to watch Hereford-based featherweight boxer Darren ‘Dazzo’ Williams take the stage alongside then mayor, Councillor Marcelle Lloyd Hayes.

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The pair, both dressed in their festive best, were joined by winners of a children’s Christmas poetry competition to light up the town as the countdown to Christmas began.

Hereford Times:

The colourful lights of days gone by, now replaced with more modern decorations, were a hit with members of our Facebook nostalgia group We Grew Up in Hereford.

“So much warmer and festive than the harsh blues and whites now,” Arron Smith said.

And Anthony Williams said: “The lights were better. There was so much more to do! Lots more entertainment and shops to choose from.”