Former Bradford City striker John Hendrie brings Christmas cheer to flood-hit Bingley

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By Will Hardy

Thousands of visitors attended Bingley’s annual Christmas fair – this year held as a celebration of the town’s recovery from flooding.

In December 2015, the River Aire and River Calder burst their banks, bringing transport to a halt and prompting the Army to lead a clear up operation.

John Hendrie, former Bradford City striker, was there to welcome crowds and switch on the lights on Saturday, November 26.

The event lasted three days, starting on the Friday, and boasting a selection of different activities for all ages, including a Christmas-themed market, Santa’s grotto, fairground rides and live music.

The event is particularly family orientated and aims to bring communities closer together as the Christmas period approaches.

Joe Walters, a student at the University of Bradford said: “I was at the fair for a couple of hours, around the time the lights were switched on.

“I spent my time at the event enjoying the beer tent with my dad and spending time with my family while my little sister was on the fairground rides.

“This year’s fair has been really good – well organised with lots of stuff to do.”

One of the main attractions at this year’s bash was the ale tent, which offered more than 50 types of regular and seasonal beverages.

Ed Harrison, 20, who lives in Bradford and who attended the event said: “I headed down to the ale tent and had a few beers with my uncle, I am really enjoyed what the event had to offer.

“The occasion was really enjoyable, there were loads of people there and an obvious electric atmosphere.

“You could sense the excitement for the lights being turned on definitely.”

The third and final day had a selection of both live and pre-recorded music being played throughout.

Mathew Tucker, a student at the University of Manchester, said: “The lights were spectacular and the atmosphere that was created when they were turned on was buzzing.”

Enjoying the event on the Saturday, Matthew decided he would also attend Sunday’s activities. He added: “The event seemed lively yesterday, so my mates and I decided we would come back to the fair today to check out the ale tent and some of the bands playing.

“The event has been great – for me the lights and ale have definitely been the highlights.”

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