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Christmas Around the County

As we enter the final countdown to Christmas 2019, it's time once again to take a look at the winners of the Annual Threadbone Awards for Best Christmas Lights. As always entries were open to all and were allocated to several different categories in order to ensure fair competition. Once again the judging panel was chaired by Threadbone Corporation CEO, CFO, President, Executive Chair and General Panjandrum Mrs Amanda Threadbone who this year was ably assisted, but not influenced, by Mr Royston Binstock [Deputy Chair], Sir Geoffrey Cassava [Royal Dorset Festive Planning and Health and Safety Commission], freelance journalist Craven Ars-Licker and former celebrity meat-packer and local DJ "Professor" Abba Twarre. Speaking at the results ceremony in Great Heaving, Mrs Threadbone described the winners as "An example to some and a warning to others", going on to say, "It is extraordinary the lengths some people will go to draw attention to themselves and their properties" - a statement which was greeted in some quarters by nervous laughter and in others by barely stifled snorts. Having congratulated the winners, Mrs Threadbone then gave away, to four lucky winners, a free pass to the 2019 Threadbone Towers Christmas Lights Display.

This year's winning entires [Clockwise from TOP LEFT: Categories A, D, C, D].


Category A [Community Projects]

Open only to local communities this prestigious award went to the Sturminster Marshall Over 80's Club for their festive garden dominated by a large single decorated tree. The group were adjudged to have made a "remarkable effort" whilst the panel expressed some surprise at their ability to "get it up and keep it up at their considerable age". Whilst some reservations were noted regarding the overall level of illumination [particulalry in the context of the local street lighting] and the absence of a truly authentic festive spirit ["12 lumens is not a lot for a village green this size"] the Sturminster Marshall entry was given the Blue Ribband. [RUNNER UP: the Winterborne Zelston Irish Dance Troupe's bouncing bushes.]

Category B [Civil Authorities]

Open to any local authority organisation or department, the 2019 award went to the Great Heaving Fire Service's Radical Rudolf display. Comprising a single wire-framed construction with multiple LEDs, this simple but effective object was commended for its "simplicity and effectiveness notwithstanding the need to move it from its prominent location every time fire-tender exit or entry was required". Mrs Threadbone was particularly struck by the symbolism implied and the happy marriage of the concepts of speed, elegance and flammability. [NB The No 4 Fire Crew were unable to accept the award in person owing to their deployment on an emergency fire caused by faulty wiring in a Radical Rudolf display outside their own station.] [RUNNER UP: Poyntington 3rd Scout Troop's The Late Mr Threadbone's Dangling Christmas Balls.]

Category C [Individual Achievement]

Open to any individual nominated by a friend and neighbour this award celebrates enterprise on a smaller scale. Previous winners have included Ms Shelley-Lulette SIzemore, Mrs Brenda Oats, Ms Celia Notso-Pointy and novelist Rowena Westlake]. This year's award went to Mrs Connie Fur for her giant illuminated tree. Though the panel noted certain "issues of scale" and a tendency for the tree to "dominate the surrounding landscape" they nonetheless appreciated the positive impact of the display on reducing neighbours' electricity bills [Mrs Fur's are up 700% making her Dorset Electric's Customer of the Year 2019. SO a bumper year for Mrs Fur!]. [RUNNER UP: Frosty the Snowman with pulsing carrot [Mr Lon-Lee Saddo, Guy's Marsh.]

Category D [Most Illuminating]

New for 2019 this award - given at the sole discretion of panel chair Mrs Threadbone - went to the Winfrith Newburgh Highways Authority whose highly innovative and safety-enhancing roadside Light Sticks beat off all the competition. Placed in a well-known accident black-spot, the rapidly pulsing laser lights are designed to temporarily blind drivers and cause them to slow down or stop immediately. Setting aside evidence from Herston General Hospital of a rapid increase in cases of whiplash, the panel commended the Authority for its forward-thinking and aesthetic and urged other highways agencies to "take a leaf out of Winfrith Newburgh's book". Plans to institute the lights on a permanent basis have been variously described as "unseasonal", "unsafe" and "utterly irresponsible". [RUNNER UP: Mr Threadbone Memorial Pole at Christmas - in point of fact Mrs Threadbone's preferred winner but judged inadmissible since it is not open to general public viewing.]

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