Observer: Be proud of Uckfield’s Christmas lights

The town council is right to consider putting more money into the pot to fund the 2017 Christmas lights.

You need to keep pace with inflation to at least standstill in terms of quality, writes our independent columnist Observer.

There was naturally some disappointment when this year’s lights were first illuminated but it soon became clear there were snags which, by and large, seem to have been resolved so the town could be properly lit for Late Night Shopping.


As I said, some people were disappointed with the lights. I say to those people: go to some other places in Sussex and surrounds.

You would hardly know it was Christmas. There would be a huge sense of disappointment.

Also, when it comes to lights, I’m not blown away by the lights in London’s Oxford Street – in my opinion there are better shows elsewhere in central London.

Christmas lights cost money…the Chamber of Commerce chips in £2,000 which does reduce the total amount to be funded by the taxpayer. It perhaps should consider a pro rata increase in line with what the town council’s percentage increase turns out to be.


I am afraid the argument of getting the “big boys” of the High Street to pay a share of the costs was lost a long while ago. National retailers cannot (or is it will not) afford to pay out for every High Street where they do business.

Uckfield does well with its lights,punches above its weight and makes the town Christmassy.

One thought for the future, is to have a proper “switch on” ceremony with a celebrity.

I saw some years ago that this was not possible with the way the lighting is done but it is surely worth another look.

A lights on ceremony could be another boost for traders or, maybe combined, with late night shopping.

Southern Watch: The Dog and Duck crew were delighted to receive an invitation to a Christmas party from the management of Southern and Network Rail. It was to be held at the wonderful Harvey’s brewery in Lewes.

Amazingly, the train people said they would provide transport from Uckfield to the venue and back again.

Result: The bus was late leaving. We had to get off the bus at Ringmer and returned home late, cold and stone-cold sober. They then told us the fare was going up next year.

[If you are a regular commuter, you will understand; apologies to those of you whose lives are not afflicted by the state of the railway to Uckfield and may not get the black humour].

Holy Cross Church: Congratulations to Father Mitch on his move to Heathfield. It is well deserved and great recognition of his ministry in Uckfield, especially after the tragic, sudden death of Canon Martin Onions.

Last week’s column? Left in the bar of the Dog and Duck when I rushed away to catch a train that seemed to be departing on time. Of course, it didn’t.  Apologies.

See also:

The Southern trains nightmare goes on

Marie Curie needs collectors

Find local businesses in our Uckfield Directory

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