'More bids mean more bulbs' for this year's Christmas lights display in Axminster

PUBLISHED: 14:05 16 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:43 19 June 2018

P4461-52-09AW Axminster Christmas lights 2009. Pic by Alex Walton

P4461-52-09AW Axminster Christmas lights 2009. Pic by Alex Walton

Archant

Axminster residents are bei­ng urged to support a Grand Auction this month, to pay for a bigger and better Christmas lights display in December.

Light Up Axminster, the five-strong organisation who took over the Christmas illuminations last year, say they want to light up more streets with the proceeds from the auction on June 23rd

The lots include champagne, hampers, beauty treatments, matchday tickets for Yeovil Town, luxury hospitality at the Exeter Chiefs, and donations from various local businesses.

Graham Barton of Light Up Axminster, who is also the BBC’s Westcountry auctioneer for Homes Under the Hammer, said: “We’ve even got a tour of the House of Commons and a trailer load of manure – but I must point out that those are two separate lots.

“Basically it’s more bids, more bulbs. We need everyone to come along to the auction, enjoy some beers and grab some bargains.”

Last year Light Up Axminster provided festive displays in Trinity Square, West Street and Victoria Place.

This year, Graham and his team also plan to put up lights all along South Street and on the two island sites, The George Hotel and Atkins Auctions.

They decided to take over the Christmas lights after thinking that the 2016 display was, in Graham’s words, ‘a bit meagre’, and that they could do better.

They approached the former organisers, who were happy for them to step in.

Their first Christmas switch-on last December attracted a crowd of 2,500 people, and they are hoping for an even bigger turn-out this year.

The Grand Charity Auction will be among the main events of The Cherry Fayre 2018, and takes place at The Guildhall on Saturday, June 23, with doors opening at 7pm.

Graham said: “Light Up Axminster look forward to welcoming you for an evening where the bar will be open, bargains may be had, but either way, a whole lot of fun is guaranteed.

“And, if you do have any last-minute lots for the auction, bring them along.”

Light Up Axminster was formed in January 2017 in response to an open meeting held in November 2016 to discuss the future of the town’s Christmas lights.

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