exclusive: TWO DAYS TO SAVE BIG BRIGHT IDEA

Tuesday night in the London Inn will be make or break for a plan to give Horrabridge “high street” lights for Christmas, stretching from the Premier Stores to Church Corner.

Tickets for the Christmas Lights Draw will remain on sale until about 6 pm for an evening draw in the pub. After that, council chairman Paul Beard will announce whether he has raised enough to go ahead with the Lighting Sub-Committee’s plan to spend £2,000 on another set of lights, plus the work involved in stringing them up on November 23, ready for the switch-on party on Saturday December 2 at 6 pm.

He is close enough already to be confident that he can go ahead this year – if necessary with the help of a temporary loan from the council, to be repaid when VAT on the purchases is reclaimed.

Cllr Beard, an electrician, said today: “We have the lights lined up. Details will be announced after the draw. With LED lighting, we can run the whole stretch off the parish council’s outlet in Weir Park and light the main drag morning and evening times for a month for about £60 worth of electricity. It will give Horrabridge a pull factor and we think people want it. Every year, when we switch on the lights, people ask what we are going to do to make it better next time. But we cannot add to the parish council’s precept on the rates. We have to do it ourselves and I thank all the local businesses which have helped us get there by donating prizes.”

The lighting sub-committee has been quiet about its plans and the fund-raising raffle for “improvements” to the village lights was launched before most locals were clear about exactly what the aim was.

Cllr Beard was hoping to keep the details as a surprise for Tuesday night, but has revealed the outline plan in the hope of stimulating a last-minute surge of interest.

He is still finalising the prize list but has so far rustled up £100 of shopping vouchers from Premier Stores, Xmas cake from Honey’s; hamper from Bidders; service vouchers from Manor Garage, for an MoT test, and Dave Besgrove, for a boiler service; golfing days and DIY store vouchers; basket of hair products from Reflections; and more.

The proposed lighting hours are 6.30 am until 9 am and 4.15 til 10.30pm. Tickets are being sold through the shop, the pub and Cllr Beard, at £1a strip.

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.