MAINTAINING the annual tradition of honouring local community heroes, this year’s Garden Quarter Christmas lights will be switched on by much loved Lollipop Lady Jennifer Challinor.

Jennifer has worked as school crossing patrol worker on the streets of the Garden Quarter for 29 years on behalf of the neighbourhood’s Chester Blue Coat Primary School.

She will turn on the lights with a wave of her 'lollipop'.

Jennifer follows in the footsteps of Su from the local Chinese take away, who has served the community for 30 years and switched on the lights at last year’s ceremony.

Co- chair of the Garden Quarter Association Matt Baker said: “This year we are honouring Jenny Challinor. She is known by many simply as The Lollipop Lady, to others as the Scout Leader, and to some of course she is a friend, mother and grandma.”

Matt added: “Jenny has been a part of our community for decades. Born in Preston, Jenny first made her mark in the Garden Quarter back in 1983 opening her own shop on ‘the lane’ J.M Challinors. After some years in business she closed her doors on the shop but seemed to open her heart to the community.” Jenny has dedicated years to the community, being a leader of the 8th Chester Beaver and Scouts for nearly 40 years, a Midday Assistant at Chester Blue Coat School and of course being the local ‘Lollipop Lady’."

Jenny recently took a small break from her many commitments for an operation and now is back in full swing.

Matt said “We could not think of a better person to switch on our lights this year.”

The switch on event is part of the community’s Light Night which features three distinct events on Friday, November 30: The school’s very popular Christmas Fayre begins at 4pm after which the children will make their annual precession to Plum Terrace to help illuminate the Garden Quarter for this festive season. Starting at 7:30pm the line up includes the children of Chester Blue Coat School, A Handbag of Harmonies, Chester’s new LGBT choir Proud Marys, The University of Chester Choir and Orchestra who will be joined by soloists from The Bridge Foyer, the local Goat and Munch and One Stop. After the lights are switched on by the ‘waving of Jenny’s lollipop’ the evening continues with a ‘good old knees’ up at The Bouverie with A Handbag of Harmonies and Safehouse to round off the evening.

Other highlights in the community’s festive calendar include The Garden Quarter’s Christmas Market in the atmospheric Victorian setting of St Thomas of Canterbury Church from 10.30am - 3.30pm on Saturday, December 1.

Event organiser Sarra Cooper said “This is becoming more and more popular every year; a real mixture of fabulous gift ideas, sumptuous food and wonderful entertainment. And of course, chance to buy your fresh Christmas Tree!”