After two weeks of preparation, hours of work by dozens of children and adults, contributions from more than twenty volunteers and considerable dedication by the principle organiser Orchard Road resident, Keith Hufton, Whaley Incline was transformed into a marvellous festival of light last Friday.
An estimated 350 people took part in last Friday’s Lantern Walk from Chapel Road, along Old Road and down Whaley Incline, many carrying lanterns they had made at workshops, school or at home.
Organiser Keith has asked us to pass on his thanks:
“Wow! What a great turn-out and amazingly positive comments from people who took part. The whole town was buzzing. Big thanks to Jaine and Simon, Liz Hufton and Bethan, John Morten, Brian Woolley, Claire Humphries, the W3 catering crew, Lucy Twigg, Jon Goldfinch, Chris Tetley, Whaley Forge, Marc Knowles, Chloe and all the wonderful friendly volunteers that helped from across the community, and local businesses that have helped: the lovely people at Stanways & Hallows for batteries and lights, Ian and Drinkwaters crew and Neil at Longden and Jones.”
Town Councillor, Martin Thomas who had acted to coordinate the different Christmas Light Switch On events said:
“The lanterns, illuminated screen prints and light displays were wonderful. We received many positive comments from parents and children alike. It was absolutely thrilling to see the look of magic shining in the eyes of the children as they walked passed many carrying lanterns they had made themselves. I am very conscious that none of this could have happened without the passion and hard work of Keith Hufton, and the loyal teams of volunteers who supported him.
“It was a huge effort, but with the damp but largely dry evening air the lights looked spectacular. The crowds at the Canal Basin were the largest we have seen for years, and across the town venues recorded increased business. Father Christmas’ grotto at Footsteps, generously supported by the Cooperative Community Fund, and staffed by volunteers from Footsteps Youth Café, saw a record number of children visit. The new Christmas Tree lights came on, on time, the nativity story were nicely staged by members of Churches Together. Carol singing was accompanied by the wonderful Whaley Bridge Band. Over at the Mechanics Institute Mulled Wine was served by volunteers from Footsteps, while upstairs there was a Christmas fayre.”