JOHN Carhart was all smiles as he helped signal the start of Christmas in Royton.
As hundreds watched on, John sank the plunger on the town hall steps to switch on the festive lights.
Well known for his work with Oldham Community Leisure at Royton Leisure Centre and also a keen Latics fan, John was a popular choice as guest of honour.
During 30 years, initially at the old Royton baths, he has helped youngsters to swim and lose their fear of water.
Dad John said: “He swims like a fish and loves his work.
“Everyone in Royton knows John if they have been to the pool. He has taught their children and their children’s children.”
Unlike previous years, with activities outside, this year Royton Library hosted a number of craft and charity stalls.
And the crowds in the precinct were entertained by a host of musical offerings including: Royton Hot Brass, singer Dawn Christy, Kendra Marshall and duo Pub Lunch. And a lights switch on would not be the same without Santa.
So, across the road at Sparkles, Father Christmas and his elves called in to say hello and handout presents.
Opera trained local girl Dawn recently returned to her home town from Skiathos.
And the former North Chadderton School pupil is giving back to the community before returning for another summer season in Greece.
She recently started the Royton Singing Adult Group based at Downey House, Church Street.
The hour-long sessions take place every Wednesday from 11am.
“It is just about all having some fun while learning some singing techniques,” Dawn told the Correspondent.
“There is nothing better than people singing whether that is in the shower or in front of hundreds of people.
“The confidence they gain through singing is fantastic. I get a lot of enjoyment myself and we are making differences to people’s lives.”