Streets around the borough came to life last week as residents celebrated the beginning of the festive period, with late night shopping events and the annual Christmas lights being switched on.

The Whitton Lights switch-on and the Teddington Christmas lights took place on Thursday, November 24, with both featuring a festive line-up of music, gourmet food and entertainment for the bustling crowds.

Whitton High Street was lined with Christmas market stalls and Christmas entertainment and the lights were switched on at 5pm by Robin Gibb from the Bee Gees, Richie Maddocks - one of the serving Singing Soldiers, Richmond’s mayor Councillor Clare Head and a Captain Jack Sparrow look-a-like. They also all took part in promoting this year’s British Legion Poppy Appeal song.

Whitton Business Association secretary and event organiser, Kate Turner said: “The whole event went very well with the welcome inclusion of Dusty Dog Disco - much to the children's delight. “High Street was filled from 3.30pm until 7.30pm and the Kneller Hall Band provided their usual fantastic music.”

In Teddington, Coun Head and the new Cinderella at Richmond Theatre, Kellie Shirley, switched on the lights at 6pm outside Elmfield House.

Christmas Lights Committee chairman, Sheena Harold, said: “More people than ever attended the Teddington Christmas Lights switch on. Teddington High Street was alive with activity until late and children queued to visit Santa’s Grotto at Play Inside Out in Broad Street while the Teddington School Jazz Band played outside Boots.”

Twickenham Christmas lights lit up on Friday, November 25, ably switched on by LBC Radio presenter Steve Allen. Church Street came alive with residents singing carols, tasting the festive treats and taking part in Christmas activities.

Twickenham town centre manager, Natasha Carr, said: “The event was a huge success this year with record crowds and great participation from the local traders and businesses of Twickenham. It was great to see everyone out enjoying the festivities and participating in the many activities on offer throughout the town during the evening.”

The 43rd annual Christmas parade in Hampton Hill was also held on November 25, with entertainment from Groove Academy and the Rock Choir. The Hampton Hill Traders’ Association (HHTA) organised the event, which raised more than £6,000 for local charities.

Parade organiser, HHTA director and Greenacres Nurseries owner, Susan Green said: “It was a wonderful evening and I would like to thank all the local traders and our three charities; The Greenwood Centre, African Revival and Shooting Star Chase for their huge input to the night’s success.”