The lights went on and everybody was in: Large crowd welcomes Marlborough's Christmas lightsMarlborough's Christmas illuminations burst into light last night (Friday 1 December) at 6.30pm when BBC Wiltshire's breakfast presenter, Ben Prater, ably assisted by the Mayor, Cllr Mervyn Hall and Ben's two children downed the handle of the enormous red plunger on the stage in the middle of a crowded High Street to bring new meaning to the saying 'many hands make light(s) work' (apologies for dire pun).
As well as the lights switch-on, Town Mayor, Councillor Mervyn Hall presented former Councillor Alec Light with the award of 'Citizen of the Year', a well-deserved recognition of Alec's long and dedicated service to Marlborough as Town Councillor for many years, branch chair of Marlborough's British Legion and many other supportive roles over his lifetime spent entirely in Marlborough.
The High Street thronged with families enjoying the market, whilst also popping in to the many shops offering Christmas cheer - mulled wine, mince pies, even the odd glass (or two) of Prosecco (thanks Elaine's Travel and Luna!) - and also the chance to see celebrities in the form of Gogglebox stars Giles and Mary who were meeting and greeting their fans and signing copies of their recently published book 'The Diary of Two Nobodies' in the Waitrose Cafe. Mince pies and mulled wine on offer there as well.....
Santa supported by a large coterie of very helpful elves transformed the downstairs Court Room of the Town Hall into a magical grotto, the space being arranged for him and his team by Marlborough Rotary with queues of awe-struck children and parents waiting their turn to enter Santa's magical enclave.
Appearing on the High Street stage and supporting the switch-on were the St John's Academy Band, Marlborough Academy of Dance and Drama, classical cross-over singer Eleanor Williams, the Marlborough Community Choir led and conducted by Vanessa Lafaye, with the evening being concluded by Froxfield's Phoenix Brass Band.