One of the highlights of being a Blackheath resident – let alone their councillor – is the annual turning on of the Christmas lights. Small enough to not feel commercial, big enough to bring the streets to a standstill.
During most of the period that I was a councillor all of the work (and expense) was born by the local village traders, a tangible expression of their social responsibility – and a good opportunity for them to raise funds for their favoured charities.
When the Blackheath Traders Association disbanded earlier this year it seemed likely that we would also loose our famous Christmas lights. This sad news shocked local residents and traders alike and subsequently a campaign has been launched to save the lights which have bringing festive cheer to the village every Christmas since 1983.
It seems they need to raise £39,000, and say:
‘Support has been fantastic,’ says spokesperson Hilton Ingram. ‘and Lewisham Council has been terrific. But there’s still a long way to go. In order for the future of the lights to be guaranteed it’s imperative that we reach our target.’
I for one wish them and their campaign every piece of luck.