Rayleigh’s ‘Night of the Year’ – the switching on of the Christmas lights

Sadly no Ice Rink, some members of the Town Council think this can’t be accommodated – there was much enthusiasm for an Ice Rink from some members of the Chamber of Trade and members of the public. Why doesn’t the Council think outside the box or this a common trait of Councils, that like to hold back progress?

IT’S ALL set for Rayleigh’s ‘Night of the Year’ – the switching on of the Christmas lights on Thursday, November 30 between 4pm and 6.30pm.

It’s the night when thousands of local families throng the High Street enjoying a full programme of entertainment.

It is now regarded as the town’s top community event of the year when families can join in the many activities that are arranged by Rayleigh Town Council, which organises the whole event.

The High Street will be closed at the top of Crown Hill from 1.45pm until 9pm. Access to the Bellingham Lane car parks will continue until 3.45pm. There will be no taxis in the rank after 1pm. Provision, however, will be made available in Bellingham Lane outside HSBC and side of the WI Hall for pick up only.

Signs and posters around the town will display alternative arrangements for taxis and bus diversion routes. Wheelchair users will be allowed access into the marquee area to view the event; if interested, it would be appreciated if residents could contact the Ryleigh Council prior to the event.

Town clerk Kerry Cumberland explained: “We will have all of our usual attractions at this year’s event, including a festive market, fun fair rides and Father Christmas with his sleigh.

“BBC Essex presenters Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt will be on stage with popular local singer Reggie Manus, Southend United Football Club players, the Mushroom Theatre Company and our primary and senior school choirs.

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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