No light relief for Toon group

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Despite a rallying call to the public of Peterhead to help get the town’s Christmas lights off the ground for this year, no-one turned up to a public meeting last week.

The eight-strong group which had come together in November to hastily arrange the town’s festive display failed to add to their numbers on Thursday night, leaving the future of the lights in the balance.

The initial feeling from the group was that the Christmas lights were unlikely to go ahead in 2016, given the funding requirements and the work involved.

But after some discussion it was agreed that other towns and villages in Aberdeenshire would be approached to find out how they funded their festive displays.

Member Shirley Duthie, who plans to leave the group next month, expressed her bitter disappointment at the lack of interest shown by the folk of the Blue Toon in getting a better display.

“It’s just too much work for us to take on on our own. We really need others to come on board,” she said.

“We aren’t asking people join a committee, just volunteer their time in a range of ways in order to get the lights up.”

Discussions then turned to a possible ‘winter festival’ theme for a switch-on, should the lights go ahead.

And the decoration of the tree, instead of lights, was also discussed, given its ad-hoc decoration last year after the tree lights had been vandalised just hours after the official switch-on.

The possibility of resurrecting the small trees for each business in the town centre was also mooted, with battery-operated lights and a tree for each shop being provided by the group.

“If we are to go ahead, then I think it needs to be on a smaller, more concentrated scale,” said Shirley.

“But without the support of the community I’m not sure just what can be achieved by such a small number of people.”

A number of fundraising ideas were raised, as was the possibility of getting a celebrity to carry out the switch-on.

The next meeting of the group will be held in the Albert Hotel on Queen Street on Thursday, February 25 at 7.30pm,when it is hoped a few more folk will turn up to lend their support.