Community spirit secures Christmas lights display for Gunnislake

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Thursday 8th December 2016 8:00 am
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WITH a lot of goodwill and community generosity, Gunnislake will have a sparkling display of Christmas lights this year — despite a number of hurdles.

At the end of November, a grant application to fund new lights was turned down. The old lights were then tested and they started to ‘explode’.

But, determined to put on a show, local community group Gunnislake Community Matters (GCM) rallied to make a different plan.

Trusting for the best, the planned lantern making workshop for local children went ahead and was deemed a great success, with more than 70 people getting stuck in with glue, glitter and soggy tissue paper.

Help to buy new, low power LED Christmas lights came from local garage owner Chris Venning.

With these lights, coupled with those that GCM were able to purchase and some funded by Cornwall councillor for Gunnislake and Calstock councillor Dorothy Kirk, enough lights were bought for a great display.

A spokesperson for GCM said: ‘Thanks to all the local businesses and home owners in Commercial Street and Fore Street and the community volunteers, the lights have been erected and next Saturday (December 10) is the big switch on.

It will start at Fosters Field at the rear of the school at 5.30pm. Children and adults with homemade lanterns — and a few oddly-dressed characters like lion, Olaf and Rudolph — will process down to the centre of the village for the local celebrity lighting up at around 6pm.

Enjoy mulled wine and mince pies in the Post Office with donations to the Gunnislake Christmas lights fund.’

Another challenge for GCM this year has been the difficulty in getting the BT phonebox in the centre of the village repainted.

The spokesperson added: ‘While the car park, the new mural and the toilets all sparkle with fresh paint, the BT phone box falls well short. After BT had promised to repaint the box in October, then did not do so, GCM had to do something to brighten up the unpainted eyesore.

‘So, some Christmas lights and some yarn bombing has cheered up that dodgy focal point — and now it is hoped that BT will be encouraged to supply the paint and volunteers will do it for them.’

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