A Marlborough Christmas – Lights, Music, Markets and Much More
Marlborough High Street welcomes advent on Friday 1 December. At 6.15pm, Mayor Mervyn Hall, will board Santa’s Sleigh to be escorted to the stage outside Lloyds Bank.
There, instead of being joined by the traditional coterie of elves, he will be assisted by BBC Radio Wiltshire‘s Breakfast Show host, Ben Prater, Mike Tupman (Marlborough's Town Crier), the Town's Mace Bearers and Father Christmas for the switch on of the Christmas Lights at 6.30 pm.
Marlborough’s Citizen of the Year will also be announced and presented with a crystal bowl.
Ben Prater was heard to say on BBC Breakfast Radio that he was disappointed not to have been invited to switch on any Christmas lights. Marlborough immediately came to the rescue and issued the invitation.
“It’s a real community event,” says Sue Fry who has been busy working behind the scenes at the Town Council offices to ensure everything goes smoothly.
This year, for the first time, the Town Council are responsible for the whole event, taking over the organization of the market from Wiltshire Council.
The market will be open from 3-8pm. There are numerous food stalls, a brewery company from Melksham, clothes, Christmas wreaths, toys, sweets and crafts. There will also be a number of fairground rides for young children.
Many of the town’s shops will be staying open late into the evening.
Several Marlborough groups and individuals are providing music and dance. St John’s Band and Marlborough Community Choir as well as Marlborough Academy of Dance and Eleanor Williams (a classical cross-over singer, who works in the town) will all add to the festive atmosphere.
Santa’s Grotto, run by the Rotary Club will be in the Town Hall. Rumour has it that Santa is accompanied by the most fantastic elves in the country. “We’re not going to tell you anymore,” Shelley Parker, Town Clerk, told marlborough.news, ”but you will be surprised when you see them”. Bookings for Santa’s Grotto can be made on-line.
“Organising the event is hard work, but rewarding,” say Sue and Shelley. “Little things go wrong but we’ve had help from so many areas. We are grateful to all our sponsors: 'Now Vauxhall' Marlborough, ABD Solicitors, the Forestry Commission, TH White, Five Star Security, Marlborough Building Supplies. And of course to our volunteer stewards, the police, Marlborough & District Lions Club and Marlborough Rotary Club.”
As well as escorting the Mayor around the High Street, the Lions and Santa’s Sleigh will be visiting surrounding villages starting at Ramsbury on the evening of Wednesday 6 December. Santa’s route can be found here.
“Mayor Mervyn is itching to climb into Santa’s Sleigh and get Christmas in Marlborough underway,” added Shelley.
As reported in marlborough.news last month the future of the Christmas Lights Event is under threat from Wiltshire Council. One of the options in their online consultation about parking is to remove the free parking allocation for November and December each year. Both the Town Council and Marlborough Rotary club have written to Wiltshire Council to appeal against this option.
Please note: From 3pm to 9 pm on Friday 1 December parking will be suspended for the entire length of George Lane and Pewsey Road and the High Street will be closed.