AUG 00] WARWICK
DISTRICT COUNCIL NEWS
Kenilworth's Christmas Set In The Dark Ages?
The lights could be
going out in Kenilworth, as there has been a lack of support for the
town’s festive illuminations display.
A shortfall of nearly
means it is down to traders and fundraisers to bridge the gap, or
Christmas could be cancelled as far as the lights are concerned.
A public meeting
held last night to drum support attracted only seven new people. Although
they were full of drive, it may not be enough to save the show.
That could leave
Kenilworth as one of the largest towns in the country with no festive
The town has
generated a lot of interest and publicity attracting huge crowds to
the turning on its lights on the last Friday of each November. The closing
of the main road allows thousands of people to enjoy the
switching-on ceremony and an evening of entertainment.
But now the show
could be over. By using its reserves over the last few years, there is
now not enough money to make sure the show will go on in 2000.
There has been a
pledge by Warwick District Council for £4,500 towards the running costs, and the town council will give £3,000 for new lights.
chairman of the illuminations committee said:
“I do not want to
see Kenilworth without lights, but what else can we do? We could put
lights up just around the Clock Tower and the few people who have
contributed, but that would cause bad feeling.
“There is only
one way to be fair and that is to do nothing this year.
"I do not want
to see Kenilworth without lights but there are only three or four
weeks left before we have to make a final decision.
“It is up to the
traders to put in some more money. We need to know of firm promises
soon, so we can make a decision.
“If I had my way,
they would go up. A lot of people would feel cheated if the lights
did not go up.”
The town council has
already agreed to light the Abbey Hill War Memorial, which stands on
the edge of the town centre and the Abbey Fields.
Mr Hatfield said:
“I do not want to
give up on the lights. But we have to be realistic. There are not
that many shopping days left before Christmas.
"We will have
to see what money is coming in and then decide what we are going to
There will be another
meeting open to the public next Wednesday (23 August) where willing
volunteers with ideas to fund raise will be welcome.
Kenilworth town centre manager, said:
"If it does
fail this year, it will not be for the want of trying.
putting a package together for the traders so they can buy a shield
for about £60 and have their name on the High Street for 42 days
"For the same
money they would probably only get a credit-card sized advert in a
If we do not have
the lights this year, then that could galvanise people to make a
bigger effort next time.
"I have to
admit I have not come up with any sparkling ideas to make the
fundraising easy but we are trying our best. We welcome anyone's
To find out more
about the campaign, or to lend support, call John Hatfield on 01926