Festive lights to shine in seaside town

THE streets of Southwold will be decked out in Christmas lights despite fears there was not enough money in the pot for the spectacle.And it has been revealed that Lord of the Rings actor Bernard Hill will be the celebrity at this year's switch-on event on Friday, December 8.

THE streets of Southwold will be decked out in Christmas lights despite fears there was not enough money in the pot for the spectacle.

And it has been revealed that Lord of the Rings actor Bernard Hill will be the celebrity at this year's switch-on event on Friday, December 8.

While it will be Father Christmas who actually throws the switch, the actor, who lives at Metfield, will judge the fancy dress and window dressing competitions before joining Santa on the balcony of the Swan Hotel.

Sue Allen, chairman of the Christmas lights fundraising committee said it was “absolutely delightful” that he would be attending the evening and revealed the lights would be going up, not only in the Market Place, but also in other roads including Queen Street and Victoria Street.


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However, she said the committee has had to cut back on the number of lights because of the lack of money in the pot at the time of ordering.

She said: “We couldn't order what we couldn't pay for and because we didn't know if the remaining amount needed would come in we have had to cut back, which is a shame.”

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The committee still needs between £2,500 and £3,000 to cover the £19,000 bill.

Mrs Allen said: “It seems to go up every year, but we hope we can raise the money again. It is a huge task every year and that is why we sent out the letter to the letting owners.

“We want them to feel part of this town. The people who live here permanently support us tremendously and without the second home-owners Southwold would not be quite the vibrant town it is and they also do such a lot for the local economy.”

She said just in the last week some “amazing” donations had been handed in swelling the coffers to just short of their target.

Halesworth electrical company Pearce and Kemp was taking on the huge task this year and had already carried out an audit to assess the state of the lights, so they could put on Southwold's “simple, but effective” display.

nThis year Father Christmas will take up residence in his new grotto in the Blue Lighthouse yard and not at The Swan Hotel.

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