The town centre of Penarth looked a little different today – even though it wasn’t easy for shoppers and visitors at first to put a finger on exactly why.
At long last Penarth’s Christmas Lights – the switching-on of which had to be unprecedentedly cancelled because of torrential rain and high winds in November last year – have, at long last, been taken down.
Most people probably didn’t notice because – for much of the time they were up, Penarth’s Christmas lights weren’t working properly anyway.
Two prominent rows of lights in Windsor Road, between the roundabout and WH Smith were early failures. So were the lights in part of Stanwell Road and part of Glebe Street .
Some of the lights were coaxed back into action. Some flickered back into life for a couple of hours but then packed up completely. The faulty strands in Windsor Road remained dead for two months.
Meanwhile at the headquarters of Penarth Town Council the Christmas lights, which had been artistically draped around the robinia tree in the front garden, caused even more havoc.
As soon these lights were switched on, not only did they fail but they also short-circuited the mains power supply inside the council HQ itself – leaving the entire building without power.
The Christmas lights had to be permanently disconnected from the mains before power could be restored to the building and normal council business resumed.
The only reminder – and remainder – of Christmas in Penarth now is the unlamented leaning Christmas Tree – stripped of its lights and awaiting removal sometime tomorrow or maybe later in the week by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
When it’s gone Penarthians will once again be able to see what time it is on the hidden Town Clock – and perhaps note that the annual removal of the town’s ‘Chrissy Decs’ – which usually brings down the curtain on local Christmas festivities at the end of January or the beginning of February – is a sure harbinger that spring is on the way.
…Also on the way are negotiations for a new tender to supply the 2016/17/and 18 Christmas lights.
Penarth’s 2015 Christmas Tree was finally removed on Thursday January 28th 2016 .