Traders and the community have teamed up in a bid to ensure Herne Bay does not once again become a national laughing stock for its Christmas lights. The town made national headlines after stars from the Marlowe pantomime in Canterbury flicked the switch of a poorly lit tree – and rather than cheers, got jeered by the crowd. As a result, Herne Bay’s lights were dubbed the worst in the UK.
Now, however, a group has been set up to organise next year’s illuminations. At its inaugural meeting, organiser Geoff Wimble said businesses and supporters had already pledged more than £2,000 with donations from the chamber of commerce and individuals. The total was boosted further by a cheque presented by Jean Herwin, a member of the group and secretary of the Hotel Business and Leisure Group.
More than 50 businesses have signed up to be involved, and five schools from across the town are also poised to offer their support. Mr Wimble said the group aimed to provide lights for the whole town, including Sea Street. He said:
“Our intention is to ensure we never get slated again. We want lights around the town and our intention is to make other decorations too, as they do on the continent. We want to buy enough trees so every shop can have a tree above or outside it, and we want to make sure we get a reasonable tree for the town centre too.”
kentnews.co.uk 18th Dec 2012