BAD weather didn’t stop the people of Haltwhistle enjoying the start of the town’s Christmas celebrations this year.

Crowds were drawn to the town’s annual late night shopping event, which took place on Friday, November 30.

The shops stayed open a few hours later, creating a cosy winter wonderland for Christmas shoppers, while new at the railway station, in the market place, and on the town’s water tower ensured Haltwhistle looked its best.

The open shops were complemented by a variety of outdoor stalls on Westgate, serving up a variety of gifts, from handicrafts to cakes.

There was plenty for children to do too – the Toy Shop played host to magician Graeme Shaw; while Mr George’s Museum of Time, on Main Street, offered children the opportunity to make CD clocks.

Santa Claus himself even made an appearance, arriving at the Market Place at 5.30pm where he met children and listened to their Christmas wishes.

He was joined by Haltwhistle First School choir, which ably performed a selection of Christmas carols.

As always, the late night shopping event was being organised by Haltwhistle Chamber of Trade, with support from Haltwhistle Town Council.

The chamber’s chairwoman, Catherine Davidson, said that the evening was a success.

Catherine said: “All the comments and feedback we’ve had were good.

“It was busy and it was a good atmosphere despite the weather.

“The chamber would like to thank everyone involved.”