Sheffield Christmas lights: How the switch-on events from past and present compare

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Hundreds of people visit the centre every year to watch the Christmas spectacular but how has the event changed over the years?

Here are some pictures we have dug out from our archive showing the event in the 1970s and 2021.

As you can see from both photos, the volume of people attending hasn’t really changed.

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However, the event has certainly increased in scale over the years, with performances from special guests, fairground rides and fireworks now a common occurrence – gone are the days of people gathering around to sing Christmas carols.

Christmas lights Barker's Pool 1974Christmas lights Barker's Pool 1974
Christmas lights Barker's Pool 1974

This year’s festivities kicked off with fireworks exploding from the roof of Sheffield City Hall as Jamie Campbell - whose real-life story was turned into the critically acclaimed movie Everybody’s Talking About Jamie - pressed a plunger alongside Sheffield’s Lord Mayor, Gail Smith, and Santa.

Families enjoyed fairground rides throughout the day and were treated to performances on the main stage from the likes of Britain’s Got Talent singer Kyle Tomlinson.