Throwing the Big Switch this year is well known Herefordshire financier, fruit grower and benefactor to many local causes, Clive Richards OBE.
Illuminations organisers continue to modernise and expand the displays, with two new set pieces under construction, and the unseen – but necessary – rewiring of the High Street area, further extending the renewal with low voltage and energy-efficient LED lamps. Some of the old favourite displays, including the Robin and the Snowmen, will still be there to be seen. Almost half of the total display in the Bromyard Illuminations has now ‘gone Green’ after conversion to a 24 volt system, helping the environment and also saving on electricity bills – an estimated 90% reduction when complete!
Bromyard’s voluntary lighting crew – known as the Light Brigade, whose work was recognised last year with a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – have received support from Blackpool’s illuminations crew who also build up the lights for Christmas in neighbouring Fleetwood, an appropriate link since the choir from Queen Elizabeth Humanities College won several prizes at this year’s Fleetwood Music and Arts Festival.
The day’s Big Switch-On programme includes a Christmas Fair at the Bromyard Local History Society building in Sherford St. A further Fair takes place in St Peters Church on behalf of St Michael’s Hospice, with a third Christmas Fair at the Public Hall from 10 am – 12 noon, run by the Methodist Church. There will be Christmas items to buy, a produce stall (cakes, jams pickles etc), bric-a-brac, a draw and mince pies and coffee. Tables can also be rented for £5. Fair number 4, run by Sylvia Jenkins, takes place at The Bromyard Centre between 10am and 4pm, and is in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The fun continues at 2.30pm as Santa parades down High St and Broad St to his Grotto in the Market Square. Bromyard Choral Society will sing carols in shops and in the Square from 4pm. Local shops are expected to participate in a ‘best window display’ competition to be judged by local artist and art teacher Alfred Mann. The ‘best window’ winner’s name will be announced to crowds in the Market Square at 5.00 pm, and once prizes have been awarded it will be time for Clive Richards to ask the public to join the countdown before he throws the switch.
Read an article on Clive Richards.
Read an article on last year’s guest celebrity Barrie Williams.