Fundraising begins to make Barney's lights fantastic
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
IT may just be the middle of January, but preparations are already being made for Barnard Castle’s festive lights later in the year.
The town’s Christmas Lights group has organised the first in a series of fundraising events – a curry and quiz night at the Bengal Merchant restaurant on Friday, January 31.
The classic car rally, which proved a success when it was held for the first time last year, with return on Sunday, August 14 (see story left).
Volunteers with the group are also discussing the possible return of the town’s bonfire night, which has been tentatively pencilled in for Friday, November 4.
Roger Peat, a member of the Christmas Lights group, said organising the 2021/22 display had been a “challenging” effort for the volunteers.
“We were really concerned that this year’s lights were not going to be good enough. It’s been a real challenge,” he said.
The group had to find new power sources for the illuminations after a change in rules at Durham County Council, with building owners coming forward to help.
“We were pleased with the festoons and the lights in Galgate worked well,” said Mr Peat.
“However, we were concerned about the high street because of the high number of icicle displays that failed. They have also become dull.
“We had to call out our contractor Christmas Plus four times in the first week of the illuminations and they have reservations about using the icicle lights again.
“Also, by raising the height of the icicle lights, we did feel they have lost their effectiveness.”
He added: “So we are thinking about what to do next.
“There is the possibility of using cluster lights and we feel that by having the lights higher, we need to do more at a lower level on some specific buildings.
“We are also going to look to do more on Galgate greens,” he said.
As well as raising money through charity events, the Christmas Lights group also receives some funding from Barnard Castle Town Council.
Tickets for the curry and quiz night, which starts at 7pm, are available through www.barneylights.com.
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