TIME is running out for people to dedicate a Christmas Star to a loved one as part of a Bradford tradition going back 20 years. 

Each year, people can dedicate gold stars in memory of family or friends which are then placed on the Christmas tree at City Hall in Bradford.

This year is the 20th year of the appeal, which is organised in partnership with the Telegraph & Argus.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Gerry Barker, launched this year's appeal by dedicating a tribute to his parents, Edwin William Granville Barker and Eunice Shillito Barker.

He said he thinks about his parents all time especially at Christmas time.

Cllr Barker told the T&A: "Christmas is always a time when we draw family and friends especially near, but it is also a time of reflection. 

"Hanging a Christmas Star on the Lord Mayor's Christmas Tree is a wonderful way of remembering those loved ones who may no longer be with us, as well as being a tremendous opportunity to thank those very special people who make a real difference in our lives throughout the year."

A number of stars have already been dedicated this year, including by the family of former Lord Mayor of Bradford Ernest Saville and his wife Florence Saville, who dedicated much passion and energy to helping Bradford children in need, helping thousands of disadvantaged children enjoy holidays and days away.

Among the other regularly-dedicated stars is one in memory of a Bradford soldier who became the UK’s 350th military fatality in Afghanistan in 2011. 

Private Martin Bell was killed in a blast from an improvised explosive device to the south of Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand province.

The brave 24-year-old was fatally wounded in the explosion as he attempted to go to the aid of a comrade who had been injured by a separate device.

The annual Christmas Star event is always one of the most poignant dates in the civic calendar and has come to mean a great deal to residents of the district.

This year’s event will be held at the Banqueting Suite at City Hall from 5pm on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.

Guests are invited to have tea or coffee and a mince pie with The Lord Mayor and to see their Christmas Star on the City Hall Christmas Tree.

The annual event sees around 200 tributes dedicated to late family and friends during December which form an important part of the festive appeal.

The stars are £5 each to buy and all the money raised is donated to the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, which is supporting one of the oldest children’s charities in Bradford – the 'Bradford Cinderella Club'.

People can nominate the person of their choice as a Christmas Star for this year’s appeal by filling out the form provided. The closing date for nominations is Monday, December 4, 2023.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The coupon