ORGANISERS have promised a Christmas lights display in Lyndhurst to “lift all our spirits” after confirming that the traditional strings of illuminations over the high street are unlikely to return after failing safety checks.
The buildings in the High Street meant they were not suitable to create new anchor points to replace the original ones, a report to the village lights committee advised, and they did not go up last year.
Instead a significant investment was made in coloured floodlamps to create the well-known festive atmosphere that draws visitors to the village.
Committee chair George Bisson confirmed to the A&T the overhead string lights would not be back, but said: “Will there be Christmas lights in Lyndhurst this year? Definitely, yes – but maybe not as you know it.
“Please be assured that the committee are dedicated to enhancing the village experience with a Christmas display improved on last year, but most likely without festoon strings across the road.
“Especially considering the current strange times, we look forward to providing a display to lift all our spirits this coming Christmas.”
One disappointed local shop owner, who did not want to be named, told the A&T: “Lyndhurst has a wonderful reputation for its Christmas lights.
“As you drive through the village it does take your breath away and last year just did not feel the same.”
Landlady at The Mailman’s Arms in the High Street, Louise Hodgkins, told the A&T the pub would still have its large Christmas tree outside this year. But she was unsure if an official switch-on would take place due to coronavirus restrictions.
Cllr Hilary Brand, district councillor for Lyndhurst, told the A&T: “It is very disappointing about the lights as they bring people to the village and really help the local economy and add to the special Lyndhurst Christmas spirit.
“I attended the lights committee meeting last week and we are meeting with an electrician to discuss what possibilities there are in the short and long-term.
“I still hope to find a solution if possible, although it will probably be for next Christmas. If there are any structural engineers that could help us with a solution, then that would be great.”