The ordinary streets of Godmanstone were transformed yesterday as its annual Festival of Lights got under way. In a tradition going back at least seven years, crowds from as far afield as Maiden Newton gathered in eager anticipation of the great "switch on" which has come to symbolise the coming of the festive season to these parts. Pulling the lever this year was local celebrity, business woman and author Mrs Amanda J Threadbone. Wearing a fetching First World War trenchcoat in recognition of the plunging temperatures, Mrs Threadbone expressed her delight and honour at being chosen for the role. This, she assured the gathered throng, was in no way diminished by the fact that this was the seventh consecutive year in which she had performed the pleasurable duty.
The Festival of Light takes place between the 2nd and 5th of December subject to local council funding of the taxing electricity bill. The Festival is free but parking charges are £35 per car or £40 per person.