Thornton Lights Up for Christmas

As has been the case for the past 15 years, the Festive Lights in Thornton has been organised by Thornton Action Group (TAG). Despite the pandemic or even because of it we were determined that the lights would shine. Because Thornton is such a spread out community with no large commercial centre, the lights are there to bring cheer and hope to Thorntonians in what has been a year of unprecedented difficulty. We have a Christmas Tree and festoons of lights in the trees at the Shopping Centre on Victoria Road East and lights in the tree at the Co-op on Fleetwood Road North. At Four Lane Ends the trees are now to tall to be festooned with lights, so this year we have a Christmas Tree on the corner for all to enjoy.

Normally we would have had a grand switch on at the Shopping Centre, attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Wyre together with the councillors and county councillors who represent the community. There would have been a competition for children in the Thornton Primary Schools to choose who should press the big red button and light up the town. Father Christmas would have arrived with his sack to hand out presents and the combined choirs of the primary schools would have sung carols to the assembled crowd of parents, grandparents and residents. Afterwards there would have been tea and mince pies at Baines School.

But sadly not this year! However, we needed to do something, especially as this year both the Mayor of Wyre Andrea Kay and the Deputy Mayor Howard Ballard both represent Thornton on Wyre Council. Andrea pressed the big red button to turn on the lights at the Shopping Centre and Howard did the same at Fleetwood Road North Co-op. Sadly they were not allowed to wear their chains which were locked up at the Civic Centre. At Four Lane Ends, Jenie Phillips, Chair of TAG turned the lights on on the new Christmas Tree.

As is usual Wyre Council gave us a grant which covers half the costs and the remainder comes from donations from the residents, traders and businesses of Thornton. Disappointingly we have been unable to have our display and collection in the Co-op and go round with the bucket at the switch on. We haven’t been able to organise our usual raffle. Moreover, many of our businesses have suffered under restrictions or been closed in lockdown.

Thankfully a number of our businesses have stepped in and made generous donations. McCarthy and Stone at Burrstone Grange, NPL and AGC Chemicals on Hillhouse International, the two Co-operative Stores, Miller Roskell Accountants plus individual members of the public and not forgetting Wyre Council – a big big thank you. That still leaves a big hole in our balances so please send or deliver your donations to our Treasurer, 147 Lawsons Road, Thornton FY5 4PL.

Next year hopefully we will be back to normal and welcoming everyone to the grand switch on in November 2021. In the meantime enjoy this year’s Christmas Lights. It is a privilege to organise the Lights and send a message of hope and goodwill to everyone in Thornton.

Stay safe and a Happy Christmas from Thornton Action Group

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