Pupils light up station

JINGLE bells met jingling coins as schoolchildren lit up Glasgow Central Station in aid of charity.

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A chorus of 53 P6 and P7 pupils from St Mirin's Primary in King's Park helped illuminate the Light Up A Life Appeal for the city's Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.

They sang Christmas carols for commuters before Maria Lalley, 12, of Rutherglen, flicked the switch to turn on the lights of the station's 15ft tall Christmas tree.

Maria, a first-year pupil at Trinity High School in Rutherglen, whose father John lost his battle against cancer in January, is the face of the hospice's annual Christmas campaign to remember lost loved ones.

The appeal aims to raise £25,000 by illuminating lights at the hospice, which overlooks the River Clyde, and on the tree that dominates the concourse of Scotland's busiest train station.

Maria said: "It felt great to switch them on – it's quite exhilarating to do this."

The pupils from St Mirin's pulled on Santa hats, reindeer antlers and tinsel to entertain commuters by singing seasonal songs – while some rattled collection buckets and handed out campaign leaflets to passers-by.

Retired class teacher Anne Marie Gallagher, who returned especially to conduct the pupils in the performance, said: "The more times we practise over the weeks the more interested they become."

Margaret McCann, 40, of King's Park, took a day off from running her shop in Govanhill to watch her children Joe, 11, and Antonia, 10, perform.

She said: "This is fantastic. It's a great cause."

Station manager Ross Moran said: "It's an absolute honour – it's a fantastic charity."

The annual event, which began in 1994, has raised over £400,000 for the hospice.

All 620 tickets for the Light Up A Life carol concert at St Andrew's Cathedral on December 9 have now been allocated.

The Evening Times is backing the hospice's ambitious plans to build a £15m new hospice on an eight acre derelict site by Bellahouston Park.

lTo dedicate a light, call 0141 429 9840, visit www.ppwh.org. uk/donate/light- up-a-life

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