Sixty pupils from Saltaire Primary School enjoyed a festive treat as part of the Sparkling Bradford Christmas launch this week.
Reception pupils, aged four and five, from the Albert Road school, were invited to Shipley Glen Tramway for a Christmas-themed ride to kick-start the district-wide programme of events.
The schoolchildren were treated to a free ride on the tram, which begins at Higher Coach Road, and were greeted by Santa Claus and Christmas presents as they reached the top.
Shipley Glen Tramway, which is a volunteer-run organisation, will be hosting “Santa Specials” each weekend in December as part of Sparkling Bradford activity this year. During which, families can enjoy a decorated winter wonderland, festive entertainment and meet Santa Claus in the tramway’s grotto.
Richard Freeman, treasurer and company secretary at Shipley Glen Tramway, said: “It was a joyful experience to be part of this year’s Sparkling Bradford Christmas launch and see the delight in the schoolchildren’s faces as they rode through the woods on the tram. Initiatives like Sparkling Bradford are important for organisations such as ours to help bring the district together and remind residents and visitors alike of all that we have to offer.”
Rachel Abbott, assistant headteacher at Saltaire Primary School, said: “The Sparkling Bradford trip on the Shipley Glen Tramway was a wonderfully festive treat for the reception pupils – and teachers! It was the first time many of the children had been on the tram and they were even met by Santa Claus at the top, which was an unexpected treat. We’re all looking forward to seeing what else is happening across the district this season.”
Adding to the festivities this week are The Broadway’s Festive Launch on Saturday 9 November which will see celebrity appearances, competitions and musical performances throughout the day as well as the city’s official Christmas lights switch-on at 6.30pm.
Outside of the shopping centre and The Light Cinema, Bradford BID’s live ice sculpture will be taking place with artists Sand In Your Eye.
Ian Ward, general manager of The Broadway and chair of Bradford BID, said: “Sparkling Bradford has returned for the third time since its launch last Christmas and that’s down to the wonderful array of businesses, activities and offers the district has to offer.
“As well as The Broadway’s festivities, we’re looking forward to seeing Santa’s sleigh being sculpted from a huge block of ice; once complete, there’ll be a chance for passers-by to sit in the sleigh and have their photo taken with Santa Claus. Visitors can plan their festive activities using the Sparkling Bradford brochure available in district-wide outlets or online.”
Giant Christmas cards have also been installed across city centre locations for this season’s Christmas trail, encouraging visitors to solve an anagram for the chance to win £200 in vouchers for The Broadway as well as submitting selfies on social media via #SparklingBradfordSelfie.
A Bradford Council spokesperson said: “We’ve had a wonderful launch to the season’s festivities for Sparkling Bradford and are looking forward to more events over the coming weeks including Christmas productions at King’s Hall in Ilkley, St George’s Hall and the Alhambra in Bradford.
“There is something planned for all ages including Christmas fayres and markets, late night shopping, festive guided walks and craft workshops – we’re incredibly proud of all that our district has to offer!”
Sparkling Bradford is a district-wide initiative funded by a group of key partners including The Broadway Bradford, Bradford Council, Bradford BID, Visit Bradford, the University of Bradford and Made in Bradford.