Was Bradford in for a spell of ill-fortune? Or was the Council simply running late?

Because people couldn’t believe their eyes this week on seeing a brightly coloured ‘Happy Christmas’ illumination strung across one of the main roads through the city centre – just yards from City Hall.

Drinkers in the nearby Jacob’s Well pub were highly amused. Drivers risked a second look. Others feared the ancient portent that leaving festive decorations up after January 5 will bring bad luck.

MP George Galloway also noticed the faux pas. The Bradford West Respect MP said: “These lights are a metaphor for the sheer incompetence of the Council. And they are the only bright spot in the area of City Hall.”

Being the first week in February, the decorations have been a good month late in being taken down – something which usually happens around the Twelfth Night of January 5. Other festive decorations had already been removed, leaving the illuminations around the Jacob’s Well roundabout as a shining example of the spirit of Christmas past.

Jacob’s Well landlady Christina Wagstaff said: “People were highly amused when they realised the lights were still on. Lots of customers were at the pub windows looking at the illuminations. It created a talking point.”

Mr Galloway said: “These lights need to be taken down. Definitely. Either that or the Council is leaving them in place until next Christmas.

“I will be keeping an eye on this situation. When I am next in the city I expect to see those lights switched off at the very least.”

After being contacted by the T&A, Bradford Council shed some light on the situation.

And so as not to keep residents in the dark, Katy Green, Bradford Festival lights manager, said: “All the Christmas lights were switched off in Bradford city centre on January 6 and they have all now been taken down. The Christmas light on Jacob’s Well roundabout had unfortunately come on for a few hours due to a fault on the time clock.”