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Guildhall Square is filled with festive cheer

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Guildhall Square was filled with the angelic sound of children singing Christmas carols.

Parents and children alike got into the festive mood as they sang ight, to welcome in Christmas.

Around 1,100 schoolchildren lined the steps of Portsmouth Guildhall for the annual Schools’ Christmas Carol Concert.

They were joined by The Salvation Army Portsmouth Citadel Band, which kicked off the proceedings.

Hundreds of children then started carolling, with popular titles such as Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Away in a Manger, and Silent Night.

Hundreds of parents lined the square, proudly watching their children.

Gemma Pank, 30 of Lincoln Road, Fratton, her partner Marc Protheroe, 31, and son Dylan, five, came to watch daughter Lucia.

The six-year-old goes to Penhale Infant School, in Lincoln Road, Fratton.

Gemma says: ‘It was brilliant to see Lucia up there – a great night.

‘She has been excited about it for ages and has been practising for the past few weeks.’

Mum Judith Gauntlett, of Gurney Road, Eastney, said the location was perfect.

She came along with her husband Nick, 39, and sister Jeannette Clabby, 43, to see her daughter Tilly, six, who goes to Devonshire Infant School, in Francis Avenue.

Judith, 40, says: ‘It was a lovely evening.

‘It’s the second time I have been, and it really is a special night.

‘It was great to see the children singing carols, and the location was brilliant as it’s such a big part of Portsmouth’s history.’

Part way through the carols, which were conducted by Sue Beckett, head of Portsmouth Music Service, a special visitor came along.

Santa Claus arrived as Jingle Bells played, and spread the Christmas cheer.

He also handed out presents to the children.

The event was organised by the events team at Portsmouth City Council.

Portsmouth Lord Mayor, Councillor Lynne Stagg says: ‘I was so pleased to see so many schoolchildren, as this is one of my favourite events in the city.

‘I’d like to thank all those who supported the event – parents, schools, The Salvation Army Citadel Band, and the Portsmouth Music Service.

 

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