Burley in Wharfedale’s Christmas Lights have been officially switched on.

Despite having to cancel this year’s switch on ceremony together with all the usual festivities, due to the pandemic, the village’s lights display remains undimmed.

Tom Sumner and a band of volunteers have been working tirelessly - whilst observing social distancing - to ensure that the display is as big and bright as ever.

Burley Community Trust thanked everyone who had given their time and energy over the last few weeks to ensure the lights and features had been installed.

Mr Sumner said: “This year there are additional lights and displays in the park area which have proved a huge hit.

“It is hoped that some of the lighting can remain in place in the park over the winter months to light this area which has previously been very dark and unwelcoming.

“We may not have had a ceremony this year but many people have come out to view the display and commented on how outstanding everything looks. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the original Burley in Wharfedale Christmas Lights display when we started with a small area near the fountain at the bottom of Station Road and a few strings of Christmas Lights. The display has certainly grown year on year since then.

“Once again a big thank you again to all helpers who voluntarily turn up come rain or shine.”

Local people were invited to make donations as the village prepared to switch on its Christmas lights. A live broadcast took place at 4.30pm on November 28 - and because the opportunities for fundraising have been limited this year villagers were given the chance to chip in.

In a statement before the switch on Burley Community Trust said: “Despite these challenging times, Burley in Wharfedale is determined that this year’s village Christmas lights should still shine out with as many light installations as possible around the village to brighten Christmas. Thank you to Tom Sumner and his team of carefully distanced volunteers.”

Two new elements were introduced this year - a family quiz based on walking round the village and looking at the main lights, and a Christmas trail with a map showing the locations of outdoor displays at homes and organisations around the village.The link for the trail is http://bit.ly/bwctTrail or it can be found via the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Burley-Christmas-Trail.

The trust said: “Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the opportunities to fundraise for the lights are somewhat limited this year and the village does not get funding from Bradford Council. The lights are paid for in the main by the Community Trust, the Parish Council and public donations. So the Trust is planning to set up a card reader for donations in the Deli and a giving page as well as collecting tins in cafes and takeaways.”