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Gallery: Portishead Christmas lights turned on

PUBLISHED: 15:43 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 10:06 04 December 2015

Christmas lights switch on , Portishaed  High Street.

Christmas lights switch on , Portishaed High Street.

Archant

Thousands of people gathered around Portishead’s Precinct and High Street for the Christmas lights switch-on and spectacular fireworks display on November 23.

Geoff Smith, who has been Portishead Christmas Lights’ longest serving volunteer, had the honour of turning the lights on – his last act before retiring from the cause.

He said: “It was a pleasure to be asked as people say these are the best set of lights in the South West.”

Crowds counted down from 10 before the big switch-on wowed everyone who gathered in the High Street.

Father Christmas and elves met with children who have been handing their Christmas lists in at Goodman & Lilley in the lead up to the event, while two of his little helpers also took part in the event.

Bristol rugby player – and new Portishead resident – Ton Varndell, plus members of Portishead Town Council and representatives from businesses who have helped fund the event joined MC Jemma Cooper on stage.

Mr Smith added: “I was a bit surprised to be asked but I have had lots of lovely comments since.

“We are always grateful for local people helping us out up lights, clear up afterwards.

“We have a good nucleus of a team but we are always grateful for extra help.”

The switch-on was followed by huge cheers from the big crowd who were only drowned out by the large fireworks display which followed.

While many of the volunteers who made the event possible got to see the switch-on, praise was lavished on Portishead Christmas Lights member Dave Skelhorne who was too ill to attend.

Chairman Stuart Hamer said: “While Dave is recovering he may not be with us on the ground, but he certainly is with us in spirit.

“His commitment must be commended.”

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