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West Didsbury’s Christmas Switch-On 2011

December 3, 2011

So, we’ve done it again. And, in our unique West Didsbury kind of way, it all came together in the end! There were hitches along the way, and on the night, but do you know what? We think it all worked out. And if you don’t, you’re more than welcome to arrange the 2012 Switch-On 😉

The biggest difficulty we have is that the switch-on happens on a really busy thorough-fare. Not too long ago, the lights were just switched on, with very little of an event, so it didn’t really matter that buses etc were still piling up & down the road. But as our Xmas Switch On Event has grown, it has become an issue. We do liaise with the police and always ensure that we have PCSOs on patrol, as well as lovely volunteers who step in and do crowd control duties – but it’s really difficult to ensure that everyone stays off the road and that everyone congregates on the other side of the road. We also liaise with the transport authorities and we have to take their word that drivers on the route  have been advised that in excess of 300 people will be congregating to watch the event, and that hopefully they’ll exercise common sense and not pull up right outside the Co-op! Apologies to everyone who were victims of “restricted viewing” at the crucial moment. There’ll be no such problems next year!

So, onto the event. The choirs from Cavendish & Lancasterian sang their little hearts out – and huge thanks to Ben Nixon, by day Didsbury Window Cleaner, by night PA organiser/announcer extraordinaire! Andrew Steele, our Didsbury Olympic hopeful (Team GB 4 x 400m relay…) drew the lucky ticket to win the owl (carved by West Didsbury’s Andy Burgess) and then Simon Rimmer, co-owner of local restaurant Greens & TV celeb chef (“Something For The Weekend”), took to the mic. For someone who has many demands on his time, we’d like to extend real thanks to Simon. Like Andrew, a man who totally understands the power of an independent community – and who’s still very much at the heart of it with his restaurant on Lapwing Lane. He talked of the strength of the indpendent business community in West Didsbury – and how, as a result of it, events like LightsFest were becoming regular events on our independent calendar.

We’d also like to say a huge thanks to the West Didsbury businesses who yet again put in a massive effort to entertain people afterwards – and to Jonny Draper, photographer extraordinaire, who shot the event, and The West Didsbury Residents’ Association who helped us to organise…

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - Cavendish & Lancasterian School Choirs - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - Cavendish & Lancasterian School Choirs- West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - Cavendish & Lancasterian School Choirs - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - Cavendish & Lancasterian School Choirs - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Andrew Steele - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Andrew Steele, Didsbury's Olympic 4 x 400m Relay Hopeful - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Andrew Steele - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Andrew Steele - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Simon Rimmer - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Simon Rimmer - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Simon Rimmer - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Simon Rimmer - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Simon Rimmer - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Simon Rimmer - LightsFest - West Didsbury Dec 2011 - Jonny Draper Photography

Simon, Andrew & the West Didsbury Kids - LightsFest Photography by Jonny Draper

Simon Rimmer, AndrewSteele & children from the West Didsbury Choirs of Cavendish & Lancasterian - LightsFest Photography by Jonny Draper

The list of winners from the Prize Draw is now also available here – check it out. You may be a WestFest Winner!

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