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Volunteer army begins decking the walls in Melksham
There may still be a whole 58 shopping days left until Christmas, but for the volunteers behind Melksham’s much-loved Christmas lights the countdown is well underway.
The 10-strong team started work in the town on Sunday and will be working non-stop in all weathers to get the town ready for the festive period.
The yearly displays are designed, constructed and maintained entirely by volunteers, who can now be seen out in the town in their trademark fluorescent jackets.
Organiser Paul Weymouth said: “We’ve been preparing for quite a while, but Sunday was the first day that things people will notice will appear.
“We’ll be in town for about five weeks, but work goes on behinds the scenes for pretty much six months of the year, as we try out new ideas.”
Despite torrential rain, which saw other towns cancel their switch-on ceremonies, Melksham’s lights were widely regarded as a big success last year, and Mr Weymouth is keen to try and top that for 2013.
He said: “Even with the rain everyone turned up anyway, so we feel like we owe them now to go even better, and we’re trying to push the boundaries a little bit further.
“We’ve moved things on in the last few years, and now when people realise it’s just volunteers doing the work they’re a lot more supportive.
“I started off helping my dad when I was a kid, and as time has gone on I have got more and more involved, and now it’s my permanent job.”
This year’s switch-on will take place on November 23 in the Market Place, following the traditional Christmas fair in the Assembly Hall.
For more information, or to find out how to support the Christmas Lights group, visit www.melkshamchristmaslights.com
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