Snow Falls As Malvern Christmas Lights Are Switched On

Snowflakes fell, children smiled, sleigh bells rang and even the rain couldn't dampen the Christmas spirit of the crowds who filled the streets of Malvern this evening.

Tonight, Friday, November 30, was the Great Malvern Christmas lights switch on and although the snow wasn't real there was a real festive feel on the streets as the artificial flakes began to flutter down.

Children held their hands out to catch the snow, which carpeted Bellevue Island in white, as panto star Su Pollard greeted the crowds with her character Peggy's old catch phrase "Hi De Hi".

Crowds lined Church Street to watch as Su Pollard in a sleigh pulled by reindeer and followed by dozens of children with glowing paper lanterns paraded through the town to Bellevue Island.

A thousand paper lanterns had been made by local school children this week specially for the parade and Malvern Sea Cadets carried three enormous glowing paper stars.

Actress and comedian Su Pollard was popular with the crowds chatting and waving to the children and reminding them to be good Su, who is playing the Wicked Queen in Snow White at Malvern Theatres this Christmas, said she was looking forward to seeing all the children at the panto.

"It's one of the few times you get to go to the theatre and really join in and make a lot of noise, you'll love it," she told the children before switching on the lights.

The Christmas lights switch on was combined with a late night shopping evening, a craft market, Christmas carols and street entertainers and children could visit Father Christmas and write Christmas wishes on tags which were attached to coloured balloons and released during the evening.

Malvern Chase Brass Band played favourite carols outside the Lyttelton Well, children from the Downs School choir sang in the open air while the snowflakes fell. More local school choirs sang in a packed Malvern Priory.

Chairman of Malvern Town Council Mike Selby said the Christmas event had been just what the council and traders had wanted.

"The town has been full of families enjoying themselves. Everything has gone really well. It's been a wonderful Christmas event for the town," he said.

The festivities continue tomorrow with fireworks in Priory Park.

Malvern Gazette
December 2007