Looking Back: Northampton: decorating the town Christmas down the decades

This colour photograph shows the Christmas lights in Gold Street, Northampton. The lights were purchased by Gold Street Traders Association at the end of the 1950s and early 1960s. They were usually acquired from the previous Christmas lights in Oxford Street, London. 'Boots' neon sign can be seen glowing brightly on the right-hand side.
This colour photograph shows the Christmas lights in Gold Street, Northampton. The lights were purchased by Gold Street Traders Association at the end of the 1950s and early 1960s. They were usually acquired from the previous Christmas lights in Oxford Street, London. 'Boots' neon sign can be seen glowing brightly on the right-hand side.

This week we're digging into the archives to remember how Northampton town centre was decorated, ready for Christmas.

From bows to baubles, tinsel to trees, Santa to sleighs, Northampton has entered into the Christmas spirit over the years decking the shopping streets.

Dressed in festive finery, a pony with white plumes parades along the streets of Northampton to the Town Centre Christmas Lights Switch On. 'The Christmas characters are walking towards the Market Square and Lloyds Bank's building on the corner of George Row and Drapery can be seen on the left-hand side of the picture.

Dressed in festive finery, a pony with white plumes parades along the streets of Northampton to the Town Centre Christmas Lights Switch On. 'The Christmas characters are walking towards the Market Square and Lloyds Bank's building on the corner of George Row and Drapery can be seen on the left-hand side of the picture.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Gold Street traders bought decorations from London's Oxford and Regent Streets giving some memorable displays.

In recent times, festive fashions and decorations have changed but the sight of Christmas lights still brings pleasure to many as they go about their business.

from high above Abington Street looking towards All Saints Church, which can be seen on the skyline, these are Northampton's Christmas lights in 1960.'On the right is the Notre Dame Convent School, demolished in 1979.

from high above Abington Street looking towards All Saints Church, which can be seen on the skyline, these are Northampton's Christmas lights in 1960.'On the right is the Notre Dame Convent School, demolished in 1979.

Christmas decorations hang from the lamp posts in Abington Square, Northampton. The Bradlaugh statue stands out in the gloom with Wellingborough Road leading off into the distance.

Christmas decorations hang from the lamp posts in Abington Square, Northampton. The Bradlaugh statue stands out in the gloom with Wellingborough Road leading off into the distance.

Gold Street Christmas lights in 1960.

Gold Street Christmas lights in 1960.

Before Abington Street, Northampton was re-opened to traffic there was a Christmas tree positioned in the middle of the then pedestrianised zone. 'The tree can be seen between Sheinman Opticians on the left and BBC Radio Northampton building on the right.

Before Abington Street, Northampton was re-opened to traffic there was a Christmas tree positioned in the middle of the then pedestrianised zone. 'The tree can be seen between Sheinman Opticians on the left and BBC Radio Northampton building on the right.

Father Christmas arrives in his sleigh at the Christmas Lights Switch On in 2006.

Father Christmas arrives in his sleigh at the Christmas Lights Switch On in 2006.

Decorations going up in Northampton (year unknown)

Decorations going up in Northampton (year unknown)

Mark Starmer puts up Northampton's decorations in 1993

Mark Starmer puts up Northampton's decorations in 1993