‘Fun for all and not a penny on the rates’ along Skegness coast

Charlotte Dashfield, Goldie, and Jackie McDonagh at Chapel St Leonards Christmas Light Switch-on. Picture: Sarah Washbourn ANL-170612-122346001
Charlotte Dashfield, Goldie, and Jackie McDonagh at Chapel St Leonards Christmas Light Switch-on. Picture: Sarah Washbourn ANL-170612-122346001

Communities are lighting up the coast at their Christmas lights switch-ons.

In Chapel St Leonards, Coun Peter Keeffe is celebrating “fun for all” and “not a penny on the rates”.

Carol singers at Chapel St Leonards Christmas Light Switch-on 
Picture: Sarah Washbourn ANL-170612-122217001

Carol singers at Chapel St Leonards Christmas Light Switch-on Picture: Sarah Washbourn ANL-170612-122217001

The switch-on saw Chapel St Leonards Village Green packed with families awaiting Santa’s arrival.

Blue Anchor Leisure donated presents for everyone, Chapel Garden Centre supplied free lights and JT’s Bar paid for the celebrity entertainment.

Staff from The Admiral Benbow Inn volunteered their time and services to provide delicious refreshments, along with mulled wine for the grown-ups, with all profits going to Help for Heroes.

Parish councillors who stewarded throughout the day also collected on behalf of the Forces’ charity.

Audrey Holmes, Diane Stebbings and Lesley Keeffe by the Christmas Tree
 at Chapel St Leonards Christmas Light Switch-on. 
Picture: Sarah Washbourn. ANL-170612-122458001

Audrey Holmes, Diane Stebbings and Lesley Keeffe by the Christmas Tree at Chapel St Leonards Christmas Light Switch-on. Picture: Sarah Washbourn. ANL-170612-122458001

The event was extended this year to include a busy Christmas Crafts afternoon and evening market, along with tombolas and stalls supporting community groups.

East Coast Gymnastics, Chapel Carnival Club, along with Chapel Crafts Circle’s ‘Knit and Natter’ section. reported that they were kept busy throughout serving eager customers.

St Leonard’s Parish Church singing group opened the evening festivities, leading Community Carol Singing with free ‘singalong’ carol sheets for all.

Santa and his Senior Elf arrived in some style under a cloud of ‘snow’ and confetti with free gifts for all the accompanied children.

Santa and his helpers at Ingoldmells Christmas lights switch-on. ANL-170612-122614001

Santa and his helpers at Ingoldmells Christmas lights switch-on. ANL-170612-122614001

They were ably assisted by “Goldie”, the Blue Anchor mascot. Top East Coast celebrity Elya, who lives in Chapel, entertained with songs old and new for all tastes.

A happy, if exhausted, Santa and Elf reported everyone got a suitable present - no child was left out - and they had never seen such a busy and well-supported Christmas lights switch on in Chapel St Leonards.”

Coun Keeffe said: ”It is all down to the generosity of our sponsors plus hard work and dedication of the Parish Council that this event happens each year and we aim towards even bigger and better for next Christmas.

“Mainly, it is the support and enthusiasm of local Chapel people that ensures success so our biggest thanks go out to everyone who came along on the day to what was a grand event.”

Happy feet at the Ingoldmells Christmas lights switch-on. ANL-170612-122659001

Happy feet at the Ingoldmells Christmas lights switch-on. ANL-170612-122659001

The switch-on in Ingoldmells took place at the Royal Arthur Centre on Saturday.

It was organised by Ingoldmells Residents’ Forum members Christine Oakley, Ann Myers and Jackie Howis, inspired by the success of their recent Poppy Appeal displays in the parish church.

Santa and Mablethorpe Town Crier Roy Palmer arrived at the centre on a tractor and trailer supplied by Hardy’s Animal Farm.

The crowds awaiting their arrival were able to browse the festive stalls ahead of the switch-on.

Christine Oakley, Forum secretary, said: “Everyone has such a lovely time. We are really trying hard to get the community more involved.

“Lots of people came and raised money for local charities including the RNLI, the Donkey Sanctuary and Rescue Dogs.

Hats off to Christmas at the Ingoldmells switchon. ANL-170612-122648001

Hats off to Christmas at the Ingoldmells switchon. ANL-170612-122648001

“This is just the beginning. We are planning bigger and better things for 2018.”