Londoners were invited to spread the love by contributing festive messages to the UK’s longest paper chain, which takes pride of place for the festive season at Borough Market

The paper chain, which is 472 metres long, includes over 150 #BoroughXmasWishes, hand written by visitors to the market, plus another 367 messages from around the world.

The festive coloured red, white and green paperchain took a team of six just over 12 hours in total to create, with a further 13.5 hours to install. The installation also includes over 150 meters of twinkling fairy lights, as well as cascading Christmas foliage and sparkling baubles, and is over 150 meters longer than The Shard, which is 306m tall.

The last link of the paperchain was connected to switch on the lights by 90-year-old Lotti Henley, Founder of charity PlanZheroes, which aims to tackle food waste. Over the last two years traders at Borough have donated surplus food at the end of each Saturday’s trading day, which has resulted in the creation of over 50,000 meals for vulnerable people in London to date.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan captured the mood perfectly with his #BoroughXmasWish, which reads: ‘I wish for lots more surplus food to reach Londoners who need it this Christmas and in 2017.’

‘Christmas is a magical time of year at Borough Market,’ says Darren Henaghan, Managing Director at Borough Market, ‘when the cobbles come alive with Christmas shoppers, the smell of mulled wine and traders’ stalls are piled high with all the flavours of the festive season.

Sadiq Khan’s #BoroughXmasWish: I wish for lots more surplus food to reach Londoners who need it this Christmas and in 2017

‘It’s also a place where people come together and connect, and nothing is more symbolic of this union than a paperchain. It’s been inspiring to receive all of the wishes from people across London and the world and from Borough Market we would like to wish everybody a Christmas filled with good food, good friends and wishes that come true.’

The paper chain was unveiled as part of the historic market’s official Christmas light switch-on on 30 November 2016. Borough Market will be open every day in the run up to Christmas from Wednesday 7 December through to 2pm on Christmas Eve (click here for full opening times), and the month-long festive celebrations will include a series of specialist foodie events, demonstrations, carol services and performances.

Watch the installation of the UK’s longest paper chain at Borough Market: