AFTER Lyme Regis’ most successful switch-on of the Christmas lights, which brought thousands of people into Broad Street, the Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Brian Larcombe MBE, is calling on residents to support their local shops over the festive period.
An estimated 3,000 people watched the mayor turn on the lights on Saturday evening, following the traditional parade of lanterns made by local children and led by the majorettes.
And there were gasps from the crowd which filled Broad Street from top to bottom when the new illuminations, with a dramatic blue and white colour scheme, flickered into light.
It was the first year that the Christmas Lights Committee had purchased the illuminations rather than hiring them.
With 74 trees above trading premises and more additional featured displays than ever before, the big switch-on has become a must-see event for locals and also attracts visitors especially for the occasion.
It has been estimated that if Lyme shoppers spent all their Christmas budget in town, it would give local traders a million pound boost.
Buoyed by the public’s response to the Christmas lights, Councillor Larcombe has urged local people to support the local trading community, emphasising there is no comparison between the crowded bustle of the regional centres and Lyme’s local environment for a more pleasant shopping experience.
He said: “While there are large supermarkets and store chains in bigger towns and online shopping with the extensive range of warehoused stock they hold, Lyme by contrast offers a local Christmas environment of smaller shops which can provide something different.
“Whether it’s a special one-off, festive food or a last minute item from the local convenience store, Lyme can offer something on our doorstep: no travelling, no searching online and no waiting delivery.
“Because of their smaller scale our local shops are capable of switching from catering for summer visitors to a local winter offering. They can be more flexible. The town has the benefit of a mix of local-scale branches of the large chain stores and small speciality outlets within our community, plus the festive atmosphere it provides.
“There’s no denying the comparison between the crowded bustle of the regional centres and Lyme’s local environment, and who knows a Lyme shop might just have that something special, that something extra you are looking for, or that last minute need.”