Well, it’s Wednesday 27th, and I’ve just returned from our first tour around with the cherry picker, replacing dud or dull lamps, fixing broken holders and the other small faults. Everything should now be working perfectly – but it will probably only take minutes for some lamp or other to pack up! But it will probably never look better than now.
The switch-on went well from our point of view. It was a bit of a frantic rush getting finished, with the re-programmed controllers for the new set pieces being completed the morning of the switch-on! But, come the time, when our very own Edgar Whiteley pulled the big switch, everything came on as it should. When the celebrity (whoever he or she might be) switches on the big switch (which lights up part of the Square and Sherford Street) other members of the crew immediately switch on the feeds which serve the rest of the Square, Church Street and Broad Street – then it’s a mad race, one team racing around the back street to the top, to throw switches, and the other up from the Laundrette going the other way. So that by the time all the public starts moving up, the lights should appear to all be on!
The day was wonderful, and plenty has been written about all the events. But the Grotto has a special place in our hearts, with wives and friends running it, and we also help dress the amazing grotto structure. But the reindeer; the music; the parade; the swingboats; this year it just seemed to be better than ever, so thanks to everyone involved.
Now we, the Light Brigade, have to keep up with regular inspection and repairs (which we pray are few) , until (hopefully) they are turned off and dismantled on Jan 6th.