Olympic brothers join hundres to see town lit up

Olympic brothers join hundres to see town lit up

Alistair and Johnny Brownlee with carnival queen Poppy Roberts in the centre

Connor Webster meets Father Christmas

Olivia Grayson and Richard Sutcliffe

Olympic brothers join hundres to see town lit up

Olympic brothers join hundres to see town lit up

Juggler Matthew Tiffany entertains the crowd

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Hundreds of people flocked to Otley Market Place to see two local Olympians turn the Christmas lights on.

Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, who won the gold and the bronze Men’s Triathlon medals at London 2012, were guests of honour at Monday’s ceremony.

The brothers, who live in Bramhope and grew up in Horsforth, joined town mayor Councillor Mary Vickers and Otley Carnival Queen Poppy Roberts for the switch-on, with town bellman Terry Ford announcing the event in time-honoured fashion.

Carol singing by school choirs and music by Otley Brass Band and Wharfe Brass added to the festive atmosphere.

The Brownlees thanked the crowd, estimated to be between 600 and 800-strong, for turning out and for cheering them on during the Olympics, when they said the sight of so many Union and Olympic flags around the town had inspired them.

Jonathan also joked that, as they were standing on stage with microphones in front of a large audience, “we feel like we should be singing you a song.”

Coun Vickers said: “I would like to thank all the performers, helpers and people who turned out to see the Christmas lights get turned on. “I would also like to thank everyone for the fantastic welcome given to our special guests, Alistair and Jonathan.

“Once again the Christmas lights switch-on has been a great community event and as mayor I really enjoyed being part of it.”

Alistair’s gold medal was commemorated by the Royal Mail giving one of its postboxes in Horsforth a golden makeover.


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