Cornish Village Thanks Shaftesbury For Christmas Lights

A Cornish seaside village will have a brighter Christmas this year thanks to Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce.

Mevagissey has bought our town’s old set of Christmas lights. Those illuminations were last strung across the High Street, The Commons, Salisbury Street and the industrial estate seven years ago.

“They were the old rope lights with the candles, holly leaves and angels,” explained Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce committee member, Clive Carter. Clive helped to arrange the deal because he regularly visits the Cornish community with his wife, Nicola.

“I know a lot of people in Mevagissey. We went there nine years ago for a holiday,” Clive said, adding, “We fell in love with the village and we made a lot of friends. I knew that they used the same lights as our old ones so I saw this as an opportunity for me to do them and Shaftesbury a favour by getting our old ones out of the way.”

Mevagissey’s current Christmas lights

Clive says Ray Humphries helped to arrange a good deal. “Ray said they could have them for £300 if they took the whole lot. They got a bargain,” said Clive. That worked well for both parties, because previously Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce had to arrange for storage of the bulky lights.

June Hayes from Mevagissey’s Christmas Light Committee says that her group was delighted to reach a deal because their existing decorations weren’t in great shape. “They built wooden frames, covered them in chicken wire and then put the rope lighting around the shape. A lot of the frames were rotting and the netting had rusted. They were all around the harbour so they were getting a lot of wind and salt. We decided to replace them but new lights were horrendously expensive, costing thousands of pounds,” June said.

Clive believes that Mevagissey will be able to keep the former Shaftesbury lights in good condition. “They will have a fantastic display,” said Clive.

June drove up from Cornwall to collect the lights and she says that she enjoyed her brief visit to Shaftesbury. “They couldn’t have been more welcoming. We said that we are definitely coming back to Shaftesbury when we have more time. The people we met there were so warm,” June said.

Once again this year, Shaftesbury will be decorated with the Chamber’s newer lights and Christmas trees will hang from the first floor of many town centre premises. Clive has already arranged the tree displays.

“I ordered them this week. There are seventy trees, including the big ones for the squares. Everything is on plan for a white Christmas in Shaftesbury with all of the white lights, similar to other years,” said Clive.

And as the festive season approaches, 150 miles away, June’s friends and colleagues in Mevagissey will be raising a glass to toast Shaftesbury Chamber of Commerce. “Were going to have a bright Christmas because of Shaftesbury,” June said.