LIGHTS: Making this event happen

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On behalf of my 18 colleagues on Alnwick Christmas Lights Committee I would like to thank the many hundreds who braved a cold Friday night to see the Christmas lights switch-on in the Marketplace.

This operation began in May and we were still hard at work only hours before the event.

We need £14k per year to pay the bills, but the team are all unpaid volunteers who give up their time at weekends and evenings to bring pleasure to the community and brighten up the winter landscape. I thank the sponsors, businesses, institutions and you, the public, for making this complex and large-scale operation possible.

I should also add my admiration for a great live broadcast by Jane Coltman, seen by thousands who couldn’t make the event.

I also thank those who assisted us on the night, especially Alnwick Lions, town and county council staff, the wonderful Playhouse Concert Band, Bailiffgate Singers, Philip Angier of Local Living, Karen Larkin and Maureen Hornsby of Melvyn’s Cafe.

Dougie Lang, of Swansfield Park School, switched the lights on, and I apologise to him for getting his school wrong.

Finally, I must again thank the Duchess of Northumberland for making sure her calendar is kept clear for this occasion and for her invaluable and insufficiently appreciated work behind the scenes to keep us going financially.

I take on board some of the views about the scale of entertainment on the night and the sometimes uneasy fit between the crowds and attractions, and we will review this. However, the team are at capacity making sure the display itself is ready and we rely on others for the supporting shows. The stalls and rides bring us much needed revenue and I am grateful to Jimmy Slater for taking this on.

Our coffee morning and raffle draw is on Saturday morning, December 10, in the Northumberland Hall, where we look forward to seeing you.

Gordon Castle,

Chairman, Alnwick Christmas Lights Committee