Thousands flocked to Broad Street last Saturday for the much anticipated switch on of the town’s Christmas lights.
An estimated 3,000 looked on in awe as Broad Street was transformed into a blue and white winter wonderland. Twinkling trees adorn the buildings, glowing star banners and sparkling icicle lighting across the street combine with a stunning tree at Bell Cliff to create a beautiful vista.
The illuminated spectacle was so popular that, according to comments made on social media, people travelled from as far as Brighton to witness the festive extravaganza.
The Christmas light switch on has become an integral part of the winter calendar in Lyme Regis with the town’s festive display the creation of the Lyme Regis Christmas Lights Committee who work tirelessly throughout the year to raise funds and organise the annual illuminations.
Prior to the switch on, over 120 Christmas lanterns were made by local children and families at a lantern making workshop held at Lyme Regis Baptist Church. Attendance trounced the previous record by some distance and participants in the workshop were joined in the judging by others who had made lanterns at home. Prizes were awarded for winners in each of the age categories.
Once judging was concluded the parade of lanterns made its way down Broad Street, illuminating the thousands of twinkling blue and white super bright LED lights in its path. At the head of the parade were Lyme Regis Majorettes who wowed the record crowd with a dazzling and energetic routine followed by the mayor, Councillor Brian Larcombe MBE; mayoress Wendy Larcombe; town crier Alan Vian and local resident Andrew Hodder who had been selected to switch on the lights in recognition of his fundraising efforts for the Christmas Lights Committee.
The iconic Christmas tree at Bell Cliff was illuminated to loud cheers and gasps of wonder from the thousands of excited onlookers. The tree is decked with strings of sparkling white lights alongside blue and white cascading meteor lights to create a stunning effect.
Entertainment was provided by Lyme Luggers ukulele band who performed at Bell Cliff before the parade commenced and Lyme Morris added to the festive atmosphere after the switch on with their traditional dance to the beat of drums, hum of accordions, sound of bells tinkling and sticks knocking.
Rob James from Lyme Regis Christmas Lights Committee commented "There was a fantastic atmosphere in Broad Street, it was wonderful to see so many families and children coming into the town to take part in the switch on, we could not have asked for a better turnout.”
“The committee are delighted with the incredibly positive response we have received both in person and on social media with thousands liking, commenting and sharing content relating to the display which makes all our work during the past 12 months worth it. “
“We are so grateful to our sponsors Lyme Bay Holidays, Swim, St Austell Brewery and Toad Hall Cottages for their support along with many other local businesses, the Town Council, Rotary Club, Penn Farm for donating the tree, Judith Pothecary for sponsoring the lantern competition and members of the local community who have generously contributed to our fundraising efforts”.
The lights will continue to twinkle until the first week of January, taking the town into a bright and colourful New Year.