Christmas lights team reveal plans to illuminate Alnwick despite covid restrictions

Volunteers have been busy getting Alnwick’s Christmas lights ready for a silent switch-on later this month.

The lights committee decided during the first lockdown in May not to organise a formal switch-on event because of concerns about social distancing.

However, they still plan to put up a tree in the marketplace and light it up as much as possible together with some smaller decorations.

Chairman Gordon Castle is keen to allay any confusion about the committee’s work after members of Alnwick Chamber of Trade launched an appeal for support in funding a Christmas lights display. They are trying to raise £2,500 to hire a private company to put on a display and have so far raised £1,935.

Alnwick's Christmas lights committee are getting this year's display ready.

Cllr Castle, who is also the town’s county councillor, said: “Alnwick Christmas lights committee has finished all its preparatory work for this year’s display.

"Covid has meant that the team could not refurbish or erect the much loved 118 mounted displays round town or the long cables of Christmas bulbs on top of shops.

"But the marketplace will be fully decorated and the tree donated by Northumberland Estates raised and covered in lights.

"The east facing side of Bondgate Tower will be decorated as normal and the Welcome to Alnwick sign raised beside The Plough.

"The team have done a remarkable job considering how few of them are of working age.

"This year is a one-off as we all know, but other things are planned by the Alnwick Garden, Chamber of Trade and Town Council in town this winter to make Alnwick still the place to visit and shop.

"All this shows how much the town looks forward to it’s wonderful Christmas lights and relies on the unpaid work of a team of dedicated volunteers.

"Regrettably, to avoid crowds, we are not allowed to have a public switch-on ceremony, but we are as keen as ever to do what is possible.

"We are not limited by cash shortages (though money is always tight and donations welcome), we are constrained by Covid and next year we will again show the town how well it is represented by a dedicated community group that I have been privileged to lead for 25 years.”

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