Santa's arrival in Alnwick will close Bondgate Tower for a couple of hours

Alnwick's Bondgate Tower lit up for Christmas last year.
Alnwick's Bondgate Tower lit up for Christmas last year.

Santa is due to land in Alnwick this weekend to take up his accustomed position on top of the Bondgate Tower.

To allow him to make a safe landing, the lights team will have to close the gateway to the town centre for two hours on Sunday morning.

Santa on top of Bondgate Tower last year.

Santa on top of Bondgate Tower last year.

Gordon Castle, chairman of Alnwick Christmas Lights Committee, said: "The team are now out every weekend in all weathers putting up displays. There will be some inevitable minor disruption to vehicle movements on Sunday mornings, and this coming Sunday (November 4), it will be necessary to close Bondgate Tower between 8am and 10am to secure the displays on top. I regret any inconvenience, but there is no alternative to enable the hoist to operate safely."

The lights have been refurbished by the volunteers in their unit since May and they are grateful for all the help they have received, including Copperfields cafe in Market Street, who have provided them with coffee breaks.

Gordon said: "None of this could happen without the support of local people, businesses and institutions, too numerous to mention, whom I thank on behalf of the team. We are particularly grateful to Alnwick Town Council this year for enabling us to replace decades-old cabling by granting us a generous amount of extra money."

The 2018 lights switch-on will take place at 7pm on Friday, November 23, in Alnwick Market Place. The Duchess of Northumberland, aided by a local schoolchild, will perform her traditional role by flicking the switch, and low-key Christmas entertainments will be laid on before and afterwards.

Carol singing will led by The Bailiffgate Singers, who will invite members of other choirs to join them at 6.15pm in front of the stage, where the Playhouse Concert Band will accompany them. Alnwick Lions Club will escort Santa into the Market Place immediately after the switch-on.