PENARTH PREPARES FOR 5:00pm XMAS LIGHTS SWITCH-ON

The fairground rides and sideshows are ready for the start of the afternoon's fun

The fairground rides and sideshows are ready for the start of the afternoon’s fun

Windsor Road and Glebe St in Penarth Town Centre are closed off today for this this afternoon Christmas Lights Switch-On organised by Penarth Town Council.

A number of fairground rides and stalls have been set up for the event and a large stage has been erected outside the St Fagans pub for a live local talent show.

Ready for the hundreds of families who'll be thronging the Town Centre tonight

Ready for the hundreds of families who’ll be thronging the Town Centre tonight

Father Christmas and Mrs Christmas are due to arrive in a lantern parade that everyone can join in on  which leaves West House at Stanwell Road at just after 16:00 hours

The vintage street organ was restored in 1990 but dates back over 100 years

The magnificent vintage fairground  organ was restored in 1990 but dates back over 100 years

But for some there’s already no doubt about who – or what – is  the star of this year’s Christmas Festival. It’s an ancient – probably early 1900s  – street organ which is playing outside Boots the Chemists.

The organ has been in the hands of a six generations of the Smith fairground family of Talbot Green. It was fully restored in 1990 and is still going strong.

Tom Smith is the sixth generation of the showman Smith family of Talbot Green and Pontypridd

Tom Smith is the fifth generation of the showman Smith family . His grandfather – whose fairground organ this was –  is of the Scarrott family – well known in Pontypridd and Talbot Green  – who notably ran boxing booths and promoted major Welsh boxers like Tommy Farr

Present owner Tom Smith – who is selling hot chestnuts alongside the organ –  says it was his “grandfather’s iPod” and was originally part of a Victorian carousel owned by his grandfather. It had – in turn – been handed down to him by Tom’s great great grandfather.

The codes for each note of music are played in on punched cards

The codes for each note of music are played in on punched cards

The music software is not only pre-digital but pre-analog –  and is sourced from books of concertina-folded punched card – similar to those of a pianola – but into book form.

The technology dates from the punched card system originated by Joseph Marie Jacquard who invented in automated Jacquard loom in 1801.

Tom's grandfather is the "disc-jocket - feeding in the punched cars which include hits like "Down at the Ferry Boat Inn" and The Double Eagle march"

Tom’s father is the “disc-jockey – feeding in the punched cars which include vintage hits like “Down at the Ferry Boat Inn” and the rousing “Under the Double Eagle March”

The titles are all carefully stored on shelves. When one piece ends it’s just a matter of threading in another “book” and off the organ goes – providing an authentic and traditional fairground sound along with cymbals and drums.

Press the arrow symbol to hear the organ play.

The timetable for this afternoon is :

15:30 Live musical outdoor stage-show featuring local talent.

16:00  ‘Santa Claus’ and partner will let off from West House with Penarth’s first-ever traditional “Lantern Parade” …(bring your own lantern to join in).

17:00 The Christmas Lights Switch on will be at 17:00 hours this evening

 

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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11 Responses to PENARTH PREPARES FOR 5:00pm XMAS LIGHTS SWITCH-ON

  1. Mgg says:

    Let off from west house! Too. Many sprouts already

  2. Frank Evans says:

    Well done penarth. Great atmosphere and not a drop of rain in sight!!

  3. The road was closed but movement severly restricted by a lot of young mothers gathering in groups of 3 or 4 with pushchairs , these created barriers as they didn’t intend moving , apart from that a well attended event .

  4. Martin Coffee says:

    Please can we have some rides for big children next year?

  5. Peter Church says:

    Wow, amazing turn out. Fantastic evening and judging by the crowd in Weatherspoons eating at 8pm a few more food-stalls might have cleaned up.
    All except the lights and the trees, but we have our imagination.

    • Frank Evans says:

      The barman in spoons said they made more after the fire works than on sat/sun combined.
      Food stalls are a must for next year.

  6. ER says:

    Very disappointed that Santa’s ‘partner’ was female. How heteronormative! I always thought Penarth was progressive enough for the old man to feel comfortable to be himself. Still, he is famous for his beard and there she was.

  7. sjleworthy says:

    who turned on the lights after then?

  8. LizG says:

    Fantastic weather, fantastic organisation. Could have done with a few hot dog and glühwein stalls.

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