In 2011 we were offered the opportunity of organising and redesigning the Christmas Lights in our local village of Coniston.
The annual event had previously been run by a group of volunteers, with contributions from the villagers paying for the small light display. However, enthusiasm was beginning to run low, with the volunteers no longer having adequate time to organise the lights, so the reins were offered to Grizedale.
Our attempt to reinvigorate and galvanise support for the Christmas light display began with a site visit to the inimitable Blackpool Illuminations' warehouse - a vast building where all the weird and wonderful fittings are stored out of season. They have a seemingly endless stockpile of lights, with some of the highlights including hula girls, fibreglass cameras, bloodshot eyeballs, and Laurence Lewellyn-Bowen's sickly wallpaper designs bizarrely rendered in flashing LEDs. Thankfully they were kind enough to loan us some of their LEDs, floods and a large 'Peace on earth, goodwill to all' tableau for the Coniston display.
The 2011 lights met with wide acclaim from the villagers, and only a little apprehension about the slightly spooky green flood light on the trees in St. Andrews' Church graveyard.
The hope was to continue building on this success, and cement the display as an attractive annual event. A group of young women in the village now have ownership of the project and fundraise throughout the year for the annual event and development of the lights.