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Ilminster Christmas Lights Switch On

ILMINSTER’S iconic Christmas lights are set to be brighter than ever after the town’s committee spent nearly £6,000 improving the illuminations. Ilminster’s Christmas Lights Committee is installing four new frames for this year, in Wharf Lane, at the West Street car park, on the corner of West Street, and in Silver Street. None of this would be possible without the support of the public, said the group’s chairman Clinton Bonner. He added: “We just started putting the lights up this week. “We have new lighting up hopefully on the meeting house, and all the trees around the meeting house making a nice feature. “It should give a nice glow from the town centre when they are all switched on.” Illuminations are set to be installed in the Tesco courtyard, in addition to new LED features in the West Street garlands. That is not the only new addition to the lovely lights, which will be switched on as part of the annual Victorian Evening on November 22 at 7pm. Clinton said: “For the first time we are going to try and make the switch on wireless. “The market square will still be operated by the plunger, but then the other lights will be wireless. “They will all switch on as one, but it means we don’t have to access properties to reset them, and we can just switch them on or off with an app on our phones.” Last year disabled strongman and local celebrity Gary Clarke switched on the lights. For 2019, the committee held a draw offering the public the chance to press the plunger, with winner Geoff Hansford set to do the honours. “We have spent probably close to £6,000 this year,” said Clinton. “That comes from the community. Really we are lucky to to get a lot of donations and the people in Ilminster are every so generous. “People do fundraisers, some people just make donations, and we have some people who leave us something in their wills.” As well as the lights, the committee is also responsible for putting 85 Christmas trees above the town centre’s shop front, and a large 12 foot tree outside the Dolphin. Clinton added: “We couldn’t do it without the public, and then there are 20 unpaid individuals who give up their time.”

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