Missing the old tree? Take a look at how Ipswich town centre was lit up for Christmas in years gone by

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

Tonight the lights will be switched on in Ipswich, heralding the start of the Christmas season and the first night of late-night Christmas shopping.

Thousands of people came to the the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on in the Corn Hill.

Thousands of people came to the the Ipswich Christmas lights switch on in the Corn Hill.

The white balls will again stand in the place of the traditional Christmas tree on the Cornhill, angering many readers. But this will be the last year, and next Christmas it will be relocated to make way for a green fir once more.

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

For those who miss the tree, we have takena look back at the decorations used in years gone by and our photo above was taken in 1978 when the streets were filled with busy shoppers taking advantage of the later shopping hours.

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

The crowd are seen eagerly awaiting the lights switch on that year, with a live interview with Santa amongst some of the special attractions that year.

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

The Evening Star’s tree was at the heart of the event, as it was for many years,

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

Brass band’s envoloped the town in festive music that marked the beginnings of the Christmas build up as seen here in 1984.

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

Were you at the Christmas light switch on in 1984? Let us know.

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

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As time prgoressesed, so did the Christmas light switch event, and in this photo from 1987 we see fair ground rides added.

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

A very special guest was also in attendance at the 1987 Christmas light switch on, with children queuing up to make sure Santa had their christmas letters, Are you in this photo?

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

Nothing kicks off the Christmas period quite like the official light switch on. Did you attend any of these light switch ons, let us know via email.

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987

With lights officially switched on, crowds started to take advantage of late night shopping in 1987 - Credit: Archant

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