It started with a band, horns and drums assembling in the square around a plain fir tree. Then the school children assembled on the dais and the crowd closed in. The carols started and the crowd sang along to all the old favourites, Good King Wenslas, Silent Night, Once in Bethlehem and more. We were shivering with cold but transfixed by the joyful sight. St Leonard’s Hospice was lighting the Christmas Tree in St Helen’s Square, in the old town of York.
Then suddenly the tree was lit up to spontaneous applause and cries of Merry Xmas. This was the end of our first day in York. Filled with the spirit of Xmas we journeyed home to our hotel. We would have tomorrow to explore more.