Christmas Lights

THOUSANDS of people packed Jubilee Square on Thursday evening last week as Woking’s Christmas lights were switched on.

The button to turn on the illuminations was pressed by Brendan Cole, soon to play the Genie in Aladdin, this year’s panto at the New Victoria Theatre.

A polar bear strolls through the Peacocks shopping centre

The switch-on followed a day of entertainment in the town’s shopping centres, a highlight of which was a full-size animatronic polar bear which prowled around the malls to thrill both children and adults.

Brendan Cole addresses the audience before switching the lights

Performances on the stage in the town square included pupils from West Byfleet Junior School and Brookwood Primary School, who sang a series of Christmas carols.

Seventy performers from Stagecoach Performing Arts wowed the crowds with their vocal and dance routines, while Summerscales dance school pupils also had the audience mesmerised with some incredible performances.

Woking Shopping’s customer experience manager, Rowen de Grauw, commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled at the success of our Christmas lights switch-on event. Woking was buzzing with excitement as everyone turned out to enjoy what was a fabulous event for the whole community.”

For a full report and two-page picture special of the event, see this Thursday’s 28 November edition of the News & Mail

WEST Byfleet’s first official Christmas lights switch-on, which was attended by more than 500 people despite the heavy rain, has been judged an outstanding success.

The crowd gathered to see festive illuminations around the village centre and a Christmas tree light up on Friday evening last week.

Festively decorated guests Sofia and Maddy enjoy the lights with dad John Elliott

“This year, we made a special effort to create a truly magical atmosphere in the village over the festive season,” said event organiser Fran Nevett. “The attendance was an impressive number given the awful weather.

Gemma and Darcy Mclachlan share some sweet treats at the lighting

The evening commenced with a performance by West Byfleet Community Choir followed by a Rat Pack tribute show by voice artist Daniel Brewerton.

Mince pies and mulled wine donated by Waitrose helped get the crowd into a festive mood, butcher James Lowe laid on a barbecue and Italian Restaurant Lello’s also provided complimentary food. Free glow sticks were given to all the children, who were able to indulge in pick and mix from and a sweets cart.

The Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, and Woking’s Conservative general election candidate, Jonathan Lord, were among the guests.

For the full story and picture spread, get the 21 November edition of the News & Mail