CROWDS gathered to watch the centuries-old Winter Watch parade in Chester on Thursday

The event includes many characters from the Medieval Midsummer Watch Parade with the origins of both going back to the 1400s.

Records show that at Christmas the City Watch – an early kind of police force - took control of the keys to Chester after patrolling around the city to make sure it was secure.

This was followed by a banquet and celebration of Christmas by the city leaders.

The Winter Watch parades are led by Chester’s Karamba Samba dressed as a ghost band, joined by a cast of Angels, Devils, Fire Skeletons, Dragons, Ice Queens, Jack Frost and Cooks with their Victorian Christmas Dinner plus a giant Santa and Snowman.

There will be a second chance to see the Winter Watch parade when it joins forces with the Roman Saturnalia parade the following week on Thursday, December 12.