LIGHTS: Great plans for switch-on

Alnwick Christmas Lights Committee is well advanced in its preparations for this year’s switch-on at 7pm on Friday, November 20, in The Marketplace.

The Duchess of Northumberland, aided by a local child, will perform her traditional role on stage and a number of low-key events will start at about 6pm, with the tree decorated by school children at 6.15pm.

The excellent Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band will entertain with Christmas Music from about 6pm, joined by members of the Bailiffgate Singers – any choristers who are available on the evening would be welcome too.

After the switch-on Alnwick Lions will bring in Santa and his sleigh, assisted by members of the Alnwick Round Table.

I must take this opportunity to thank all who have been involved thus far, and especially the local people, businesses and institutions who have sponsored and supported us, far too many to mention here. However, the generosity of sponsors this year has been exceptional and some will be our special guests on the evening.

This follows the highly successful personal intervention of the Duchess to secure the funds necessary to keep this event in being. I thank her most sincerely on behalf of the team.

We are all unpaid volunteers and the only public money received is a generous grant of £2,400 from Alnwick Town Council to meet annual costs of more than £12,000.

The team has been out over many weekends and evenings since May giving their time willingly for this great community effort.

I hope as many members of the public as possible can make it for the switch-on and note some of the additions and enhancements we have been able to make to the display, most of which is constructed from base materials and kept as low energy as possible.

Gordon Castle,

Chairman, Alnwick Christmas Lights