Gearing up for Barney's lights switch-on
By Stuart Laundy - Senior Reporter
IT’S beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Barnard Castle.
With just a month until the big day, preparations took a step forward on Saturday with the arrival of the town’s tree.
It was donated by Raby Estates and erected by Barnard Castle Christmas Lights group volunteers with help this year from Corner’s Transport, in Winston. Also last week, the Barney lights group unveiled two special displays.
A tree on Galgate greens has been wrapped in multicoloured lights, paid for by cash from Teesdale Action Partnership’s Shine On project. The display marks the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the community and gives thanks to the NHS and all key-workers.
Meanwhile, a boar motif has been fastened to the Parish Hall, in Newgate, to celebrate the town’s connection to Richard III. Kim Harding, chairwoman of the Northern Dales Richard III group, said: “The boar was a suggestion of Roger Peat, of the Barney lights.
“The Richard III group was enthusiastic and have paid for this new set of lights. It’s a real stand-out for anyone visiting the town. The group is delighted to see the emblem of Richard III, lord of Barnard Castle, take its place amongst the icicles and swans.”
This year, the Barnard Castle Christmas tree lights will be switched on at 6pm on Friday, December 3. After the switch-on, a lantern parade called Light Up Barnard Castle will take place from Flatts Road to the castle.
Primary and secondary schools are working with artists and the TCR Hub to create a display of more than 150 lanterns in blues and green, representing the River Tees. Musicians will also take their place in the parade.
Organisers say due to restrictions on capacity, only those who have taken part in the lantern workshops will be able to take part in the parade.
However, the TCR Hub team is offering people materials to create their own lantern at home. There will also be some limited timed slots to visit the castle grounds and view the lanterns which will be displayed there following the parade. The Woodleigh and Scar Top areas will feature a range of food vendors and Christmas treats.
Rachel Tweddle, TCR Hub chief executive, said: “It’s been wonderful to enable children to create beautiful lanterns. It’s going to be fabulous to see the culmination of this work.
“We are so pleased English Heritage has allowed us entry to the castle as part of the lantern parade. The parade will complement the town’s traditional tree lighting event and form part of the annual festivities.”
To find out more about the parade, request a lantern pack and book tickets to visit the castle on Friday, December 3, visit www.tcrhub.co.uk.