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Huge crowds turn out to support Fayre and Melksham lights switch on

The lights are turned on in Melksham

The lights are turned on in Melksham

CROWDS of local people turned out in force to support Melksham’s Christmas Fayre and switching on of the town’s lights. 

People gathered from early afternoon as people enjoyed the Christmas Fayre in the Assembly Hall before attention turned to the Market Place where carol singers added to the festive feel in Melksham.

The growing crowds were entertained by local singer Rosie Raikes-May who sang Silent Night.

Len Bealing who has been helping with the town’s Christmas lights every year since 1977 was celebrating his birthday on the day of the switch on and was selected to turn on the festive illuminations. As Len lit the town up fireworks flew into the sky, bathing the town in light. An artificial snow machine was also used to add to the Christmas spirit.

Paul Weymouth from Melksham Christmas Lights group praised the town for turning out in force for the fayre and switch-on. He said, “We are totally amazed by the sheer volume of people that crammed into the town centre, brilliant!

“Every town has a big celebrity to turn their lights on, but this is Melksham, and we don’t bother with all that. We have got a guy who has been helping turn the lights on for 35 years, and we all thought we would like our lights turned on by our Lennie.

“Crowds were so big we couldn’t use all the fireworks we wanted to as the safe zones were just filled with people. Well done Melksham – that is how Christmas lights are done!”

Locals who turned out in force to enjoy the occasion had nothing but praise for the team of volunteers who make Melksham glow at Christmas.

Melksham resident Laura Mortimer said, “They are really good I think everyone should be proud! Easily the best for miles around.”

Councillor Jon Hubbard said, “What a magnificent event it was and, once again, what a wonderful display the lights are for our town. Melksham is exceptionally lucky to have such an amazing team of volunteers who give up their time year after year to put together our Christmas lights.

“On behalf of the Area Board can I say a huge thank you and congratulations to the Christmas Lights Team and to Jean Harris and the team who plan and run the Christmas Fayre.

“Melksham is an amazing town with a remarkable community spirit. It’s an honour for all of us to be a small part of it.”