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

PUBLISHED: 11:56 17 November 2016

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

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.

Lights illuminating the streets as late night shoppers go about their christmas shopping in '78Lights illuminating the streets as late night shoppers go about their christmas shopping in '78

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.

Packed out streets for the official light switch on in Ipswich in 1978Packed out streets for the official light switch on in Ipswich in 1978

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.

Live interview with Santa during the christmas light switch on in Ipswich in 1978Live interview with Santa during the christmas light switch on in Ipswich in 1978

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

The Christmas tree that illuminated the Cornhill in 1978The Christmas tree that illuminated the Cornhill in 1978

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

Showing off the Christmas tree lights with the mayor of Ipswich in 1978Showing off the Christmas tree lights with the mayor of Ipswich in 1978

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

A brass band join proceedings as Ipswich Christmas lights were switched on in 1984A brass band join proceedings as Ipswich Christmas lights were switched on in 1984

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

The Cornhill was full of life as the Christmas tree lights were officially switched on in 1984The Cornhill was full of life as the Christmas tree lights were officially switched on in 1984

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?

Crowds gathered outside of Ipswich town hall as the Christmas lights were officially switched on in 1987Crowds gathered outside of Ipswich town hall as the Christmas lights were officially switched on in 1987

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.

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