VILLAGERS were treated to a colourful, festive parade by firefighters.

In an effort to spread Christmas cheer, firefighter Brett Sheridan, 34, organised the event with Tiptree fire station.

Due to the pandemic, many annual events were cancelled including the fire station’s open day in the summer, school fetes and Tiptree Christmas fayre.

Brett, a firefighter for 16 years at Tiptree and Colchester, organised the village’s first brigade parade.

Wife and mum-of-two Kirsten Sheridan, 37, of Glebe Road, thought up the idea of having a festive, socially-distanced event.

She said: “Children in the village love the firefighters.

“At the fetes, they get to sit on the fire engine – they absolutely love seeing them.

“I was sat here one night and I said to my husband ‘Oh, it’s such a shame nothing Christmassy is happening. I wonder if we can do something?’

“And he said ‘Well, put a post on Facebook and see if there’s any interest. If there is, I’ll organise it.’

“I had 300 comments from people saying ‘do it’. In the space of a week, we managed to organise it.”

Brett, with his Santa hat, led the parade in a fire service car, announcing the arrival of the display with lights and festive music.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

He was followed by Santa and firefighters as his elves, and finally the fire engine.

Kirsten added: “It was just to bring a little bit of festive cheer to the village because we’ve had nothing this year.

“I can’t believe how many people turned out. It was so emotional watching all the faces of the little children.

“There was no way I thought it was going to be as big as it was!

“When we all went out for Clap For Carers, everyone embraced that but, in a way, the firefighters got forgotten.

“They’re frontline workers as well and I know how careful my husband’s had to be coming home after he’s dealt with the public to protect our family.

“It was a way of saying thank you to them as well.”

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response, the event may come back next year alongside the Christmas Fayre pending lockdown rules.

Kirsten said: “I literally had tears in my eyes the whole way. I’m just a firefighter’s wife and I work in a jam factory, I don’t do anything amazing.

“But to see it all happening, I was just so proud of all of the firefighters who gave up their evening to come out.

“I was so, so proud.”