Musical performances from schoolchildren and a talented brass band brought festive cheer to Penrith.

Youngsters from Beaconside C of E School gathered outside the clock tower in the town centre to perform a range of festive songs before the town’s Christmas lights were switched on.

Residents who gathered in town could also enjoy a performance from the Penrith Town Band, who played their repertoire of Christmas songs, including Silent Night.

Kate Treave, from the band, was out collecting donations during the performance. She said: “This is a festive event which makes everyone feel Christmassy. We’ve been playing Christmas songs since October.”

Chelsea Dudson, a teaching assistant at Beaconside, said: “We have been practising for a while for this now, probably since October. This is the first time we have been involved. We have an after-school performing arts group and a singing club.”

The switch-on itself was a more low-key affair than some of the others around the county with the switch-on not accompanied by any kind of formal ceremony. Lights were placed around the clock tower and on lampposts around it.

Among those who turned out for the festivities was Susan Barnes, 26, and Katie Scott, 38, from Penrith.

Katie said: “It’s just good for the town to have things like this on.”

Susan said: “We come into town for all the events like this, we just like to see what’s happening.

“It creates a nice mood and to hear the children singing.”