Last night the Christmas lights were switched on in Elm Park, the honours being done by the Mayor of Havering, Cllr John Clark, and local MP James Brokenshire.
Rain didn't dampen the festivities, nor did the poor economic forecasts, although there were some worries about the future of Woolworths, the largest shop in Elm Park. Small shopping centres need a large store as an anchor for the other outlets and a draw for shoppers, so the loss of Woolies would be a blow to traders.
But with dressing up, children's rides and food on offer, the mood was upbeat last night.
Pictures show the gnomes' grotto, the Mayor with traders in fancy dress, and the Elm Park councillors with a polar bear (local organiser, Ingrid Brandon). Congratulations to Ingrid on a successful evening.