Camborne Christmas Lights switch on 2018: this year’s traditional Christmas Tree. Picture by Colin Higgs

With bi-lingual entertainment on stage and a huge sense of excitement and anticipation, the Camborne community stood shoulder to shoulder cheering as this year’s Christmas lights were officially switched on.

Man Engine’s creative lead Will Coleman compered the proceedings alongside his Cornish-speaking assistant Pol, whipping the crowds that had turned up despite the rain into a frenzy of cheering and festive camaraderie. They listened as Will told the story of Richard Trevithick’s first steam-driven ‘joyride’ in Camborne on Christmas Eve 1801, roared their approval of the town’s proud heritage and joined in a rousing chorus of ‘Going up Camborne Hill’. When the moment for switch-on came, there was a shared gasp of awe as the 25-feet-high Nordman spruce lit up and sparkled.

Children from each of the schools involved in painting banners around the tree depicting the twelve days of Christmas joined Deputy Mayor Val Dalley, Managing Director of sponsors Apollo Bingo Mark Jepp, Chair of Camborne’s Business Improvement District (BID) team Sharron Lipscombe-Manley and, of course, Santa to push the big red button.

“It was an amazing moment and a fantastic afternoon,” said Sharron who, with the rest of the BID team, has worked tirelessly to make this year’s seasonal festivities such a success. “I’m really proud of the way everyone has pulled together to make a beautiful real tree the centrepiece of our celebrations. It’s such a tribute to Camborne’s great sense of community and I encourage anyone who has not seen our decorations to come and have a look for themselves. They’ll benefit from free parking in Rosewarne car park every weekend in the run up to the big day and the local shops have an amazing array of gifts on sale.

“Some of our high street shops have created wonderful window displays as well – forget the big cities, Camborne is the place to come this Christmas!”

BID Camborne, which organises Christmas in Camborne, would like to thank the following businesses and organisations for their support: Westfield for donating a lorry to create the stage, Camborne and Redruth Lions, Apollo Bingo, Combined Tree Services, Macsalvors Crane Hire, Camborne Town Council, Rowe’s and Brandon Hire. Thanks also go to all the volunteers who have helped and to local pupils for their eye-catching artwork.