MAXINE GORDON looks back at Christmas lights in York of yesteryear

CHRISTMAS lights have been cheering up locals and visitors alike for generations – as our picture spread shows today.

Ever changing, York city centre has seen a vast array of illuminations over the years.

One striking image shows the entrance to Goodramgate lit up with the name of the street spelt out in flashbulbs – who remembers that?

Another shot shows pretty star shapes hung along Swinegate in an attractive display.

More recently, light shows have become fashionable – and didn't York Minster look festive when covered in "snowflakes" in a stunning art show in 2003?

Lights weren't just confined to the city centre, as shown by this picture from December 1962 of the Christmas tree and lights at Station Road Gardens in York.

This season, we have a second large Christmas tree in Parliament Street (where the fountain once stood) as well as the large tree in St Helen's Square, which has been a focal point for festive celebrations for years, as our picture from 1994 shows.

Thank goodness for Christmas lights – they make York such an inviting and festive place at this time of year.

York's big Christmas lights switch on