Volunteers start putting up Christmas lights around Cromer
- Credit: Cromer Christmas Lights
A team of volunteers has started putting up Christmas lights around Cromer.
The work began on Sunday (October 3) and is being carried out by the Cromer Christmas Lights group, a team of appoximately 30 volunteers.
And while onlookers sometimes ask why the team is decorating the town already, on the first weekend in October, when you have to hang 7,000 lamps and 14 set-pieces, as well as another 4,000 lights in the town's tree, it's better to begin early.
Paul Whittingham, a member of the group, said the volunteers work every Sunday and that it takes about six to seven weeks to string up all the lights.
"We need to start around this time to make sure they are ready for the switch-on. But most people are very supportive. They like to see us out," he said.
Ten volunteers were working on Sunday as well as two people operating a cherry picker.
During the summer, when Christmas is the last thing on most people's minds, the group heads to a container on Middlebrook Way, where the illuminations are stored, and they check the light strings and set pieces, replacing those that are broken or used up.
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"We have a saying at the group, 'Christmas lights are for life, not just for Christmas'," Mr Whittingham, who buys in the new lights, says, adding: "There are not many weeks you're not thinking about them."
On the day of the big switch-on, he normally gets a great "sense of relief and achievement" they have managed to get the lights all working.
Mr Whittingham has been a member of the group now for ten years. He said: "After moving back to Cromer, I was walking around the town and saw people putting the lights up. We chatted and the next thing I knew we were helping out."
Each year the group spends approximately £8,000 on replacement lights, new lights, electricity, insurance
This year's Christmas lights switch-on in Cromer will take place at 5.45pm on Saturday, December 4.
Full details of the event are yet to be announced.
Last year, the traditional Christmas lights switch-ons in towns across Norfolk were cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.