Lighting up Cranleigh for Christmas

Lighting up Cranleigh for ChristmasWith the festive season approaching fast, the Christmas Lights committee of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce have been suffering from some sleepless nights.

The cause of this nocturnal disturbance were the Maple Trees lining the entrance to the village and how these will be illuminated during the festive season.

These much-loved trees, originally planted in 1890 (and not, as local rumours persist, by Canadian soldiers during the First World War!) have for years been lit during the Christmas period by strings of fairy lights.

In recent years the lights used have proved to be less and less reliable and difficult to maintain resulting in some of the strings not working after the initial switch on.

“At one point, we thought we would be unable to light the Maple Trees at all this year. We lacked the money or solution to this particular challenge,” said a spokesperson for Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce.

The main contractor for Cranleigh Christmas Lights presented an idea to use low voltage LED uplighters with the light illuminating the tree branches.

Local businesses responded generously to a call for sponsorship, as they do every year, but this year more than ever due to the increased costs.

Following consultation with the local Tree and Woodland Officer, new uplighters have been fitted to 17 of the Maple Trees lining the Common.

Next week will see the decorations being attached to 42 lamp posts along the High Street, a number of which have been replaced with new ones and others reconditioned.

The following week the main Christmas Tree will be positioned in its usual place in Fountain Square and others mounted on the pergolas in Stocklund Square. Further small trees will be installed in brackets fixed to buildings along the High Street.

The big switch on event will be on Saturday 18th November 2017. Stocklund Square will be filled with Continental Market stalls from 2pm onwards and visitors will enjoy music from the Godalming Band starting at 4pm.

Across the road in Fountain Square, entertainment starts at 5pm with performances by Park Mead School Ukulele Band, sing-a-long carols led by Godalming Band, and local singer/songwriter Lucina Pearson who is performing tracks from her new album.

The vintage bus from Tiger Lily bus will be selling mulled wine. There will be fairground rides from Bensons, children’s entertainers and a visit from Father Christmas, arriving in style on the Cranleigh Lions Santa Sleigh.

The Christmas Lights will be switched on at 6.30pm by local schoolboy Oscar Lewington, joined on stage by Father Christmas and a Channel 4 reality star, who will be performing his new Christmas single in front of the cameras filming for a television Christmas special.

Do join us for what promises to be a very special afternoon of live music and festivities. Cranleigh High Street will be closed between Knowle Lane and Stocklund Square from 5pm to 7pm, with local diversions in place.