Busy weekend of preparation before town’s Christmas lights turned on

PUBLISHED: 06:36 24 November 2018

Left tree surgeon Stuart Doe centre Jonathan Lewis from Portishead Christmas Lights and Terry Rollings. Picture: Tracey Fowler

Left tree surgeon Stuart Doe centre Jonathan Lewis from Portishead Christmas Lights and Terry Rollings. Picture: Tracey Fowler

Tracey Fowler

The Christmas lights will be switched on in Portishead next week and the main event will take place in a new location this year.

Volunteers will be busy over the weekend stringing up the decorations ahead of the lights being turned on for the festive season on Monday.

In years gone by, the ceremony had taken place next to Somerset Hall, in The Precinct.

However, in a change with tradition, it will next week happen outside Goodman & Lilley in the High Street so more people can see what happens.

Matt and Rosemary Westley will be among the party turning on the lights this year.

There was a public campaign to get them involved after the Times revealed a couple of weeks ago they will be shutting their shop and retiring early next year.

Father Christmas and BBC Points West weather presenter Jemma Cooper will also be involved.

Santa is hopeful he can get the time off making children’s toys to be in town for 6.10pm where he will collect letters from youngsters – although he can only reply to those which have a name and contact address.

A whole host of sponsors and VIPs will flick the switch on the stage at 6.30pm. The ceremony will conclude with a firework display, sponsored by Future Bathrooms, one of the lights’ main sponsors.

This year’s lights will stretch for more than two miles and feature an estimated 7,000 LED bulbs.

They will run from Parish Wharf Leisure Centre, along the High Street and also take in the Triangle and West Hill.

Eagle-eyed spectators will also notice the big new tree outside St Peter’s Lodge this year.

Heating engineer Terry Rollings donated the tree to the Christmas lights committee.

An illuminated reindeer and sleigh will also be put up this year.

Portishead Christmas Lights won a £1,000 grant in a competition and is using the fund to decorate the area around Masterkey, in the Precinct.

To find out more about Portishead Christmas lights check out the group’s Facebook page or visit www.portisheadchristmaslights.co.uk

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