HUNDREDS of people descended on Bromsgrove town centre at the weekend for the annual Christmas lights switch-on, with the plunger being pushed by home-grown film and TV star Mark Williams.
But it seems the event could have become a victim of its own success after residents contacted The Standard to complain about the organisation of the event following its best ever turnout.
Some complained of crushes as people crammed into the High Street to indulge in the festive entertainment, which included local singers, a roadshow hosted by BBC Hereford and Worcester’s Malcolm Boyden – also a Bromsgrove resident – and appearances from Father Christmas, a snowman and reindeer.
Others questioned why the switch-on could not have been held outside The Golden Cross, as was done in previous years, with the road closed.
One, in a letter which can be read in full on page eight of this week’s paper, stated: “The whole event was a fiasco – a large fenced off area, giving only a narrow space each side as a walkway, was located at the top end of the High Street.
“Only people lucky enough to be at the far end of this were able to see anything.
“Everyone else found themselves looking at the side of a black centre stage tent which obliterated vision of anything going on beyond it.”
Others asked why the stage could not have been higher so more people could have seen those on there and also why the market stalls / marquees were left up, obstructing the amount of space available.
A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: “We were delighted that a record breaking number of people turned up to see the Christmas Lights switch-on in Bromsgrove Town Centre.
“Further more it was sensational to receive such gracious support from so many community partners and local celebrity Mark Williams helping us to launch the recently restored historic Bromsgrove High Street.
“Next year we’ll be bearing in mind all the positive and constructive commentary and feedback events with this profile inevitably generate.
“We thrive on learning from the public and we look forward to preparing new and continually improving events all year round not least during the festive season.”
* Take part in our poll which asks whether Bromsgrove District Council was right to move his year’s Christmas lights switch-on from outside the Golden Cross to outside Argos. Just click here to have your say – https://epoll.me/v/ACSSsoEZo5g
Ho ho ho! – Children meet Father Christmas. 4814004MMR9
Feeling frosty and destive – Mr Snowman meets children in Bromsgrove. 4814004MMR6
Some seasonal singing – Becky Neal entertains the people of Bromsgrove. 4814004MMR4
Christmas stars – The Rock Choir entertains the people of Bromsgrove. 4814004MMR2
Wrapped up warm – Sophie, ten, and Hannah Bosley, five, await the lights switch-on. 4814004MMR3
The perfect view – Tia D’Aniello, six, awaits Father Christmas. 4814004MMR1
No room on the High Street – Families enjoy the fun in Bromsgrove. 4814004MMR5
The Christmas countdown – Mark Williams does the countdown. 4814004MMR7
Let there be light! – The lights on Bromsgrove High Street. 4814004MMR10