Christmas lights


Helping with the Christmas Lights

At 7:30PM on Friday 2nd December 1960 Earl Beatty of Chichley gave the command that would start the big switch on of Newport Pagnell’s first Christmas illuminations.  At 7:30PM on Friday 2nd December 1960 Earl Beatty of Chichley gave the command that would start the big switch on of Newport Pagnell’s first Christmas illuminations. Since then, the Switch On Day has become one of the most Festive Events in the Town’s Diary.

You don’t have to be particularly skilled or be able to climb ladders; we need all sorts of people from Admin and Fundraising, to Recruitment and PR. We need Carpenters, Electricians, Builders, Roofers, IT people… the list is endless. Even if you feel you are ‘unskilled’, we will soon change that. And what for? We are only the second most major Community event in Newport Pagnell that has been running since 1960! We are a non profit making organisation that relies entirely on voluntarily donations that benefits the whole of the town as well as many other charities and worthy causes.

Although new regulations and legislation sometimes get us down, its your efforts that keeps us going strong for our future generations!

Whilst we will not expect you to be there every Sunday Morning, there are various tasks available on other days and times! Here is a minimal ‘’draft list’’ of necessary tasks this year… There are many tasks that have probably not been mentioned, but here are the main ones! Present volunteers are welcome to advise us of anything we may have forgotten!


Dismantling Display and replacing all items in either storage facilities until June maintenance begins. Collect Meters from Traders during trading hours, do electrical readings and type thank you letters and send cheques out to those providing electric for annual lighting display.

February – April

Do annual stock check on features, Logo Boxes, etc etc. Treasurer to be available for this task. Order new stock as required.

May – June

Attend local events such as Strawberry Fayre, N P Festival by the River, N P Carnival, Parklife, Teddies in the Park, Paganell Grange Fete and others promoting NPCL. Also possibility of Fundraising Stalls selling goods to raise funds for our worthy cause, as well as recruiting new volunteers. Pleas and posters to be created and delivered to all local businesses etc. People with Artistic / PR / Selling Skills a bonus, as posters will need to be designed, distributed and new volunteers recruited. A good sociable day at either event. Seek out new sponsors, Raffle prize donors, financial donors and helpers etc for Switch on Day. Get local media publications interested in our annual pleas etc!

June – September

Send out invitations to all stallholders re Switch On Day, as we need to have there applications / answers well before August to finalise plans. Approach M K Council for road closure and notify all transport and delivery companies!

Press Secretary to approach all possible entertainment participants and to ensure media coverage and press releases go out in time! Town Talk, Town Crier, NP Phonebox, local papers and local radio / TV stations to be contacted!

Summer Maintenance. Testing all light strings, wall strings, features, Logo boxes, SAB boxes, rope lights, fluorescent tubes, meters etc. Replace and repair faults, check all wiring and fixtures in correct positions. Hammeriting, oiling, etc. Order in new stock if not too late. A lengthy but necessary process that ensures all should be well on the day.


Skills required – Maybe an eye for details, but ‘’on the job training’’ as anyone can do this very neccessary job!

Send out invoices to all Logo Box Sponsors, as well as agreement forms to be received by August at the very latest! Chase stallholder’s etc for replies to previously sent letters and pleas!

September – November

Erect Annual Lighting Scheme, all hands to the deck! – no matter what your skills are – you will be needed.

Manning the Sponsor a Bulb and Raffle Stalls on Saturdays Mornings for our assertive fundraising campaign. An easy task, but wrap up well.

Shopping for BBQ Stall, and Hamper Prize products, confirm donated prizes from traders and collect. Ensure Raffle tickets and posters are printed on time, ready for display and sale from September. Treasurer to make payment for any of the above. Street Plans to be despatched to all stallholders, 2 weeks before Switch on Day.

There will also be Raffle Ticket Selling around local pubs, clubs and eateries during Saturday afternoons, evenings and some weekday evenings! Volunteers are encouraged to sell as many as possible to friends, neighbours and colleagues!

Early November, arrange rental of Van from RGR if one is not available through volunteers.

Week before Switch On Day

Arrange for all supporters to have there poster(s) delivered and displayed in shop windows etc. Liase with R B L re Switch On Day festivities and collect posters to be distributed on Switch On Day, the same goes for other organisations such as N P Festival, Parish and other Churches, NP Council, Photographic Societies and traders who have supported us.

Day before and after Switch On Day

Collect MC equipment from Marshall Amps in Bletchley. The same to be returned after Switch on Day, either Sunday or Monday! Road signs to be distributed and collected.

Switch On Day Weekend

There are many people needed from 6.30am through to late evening on the last Saturday in November. Many will be needed on the Friday before and the Sunday afterwards as well. Yet again ‘’an all hands on deck episode’’…. People will be needed to put road signs out and collect them (Van drivers particularly useful!), Traffic control on the day as well as putting out road signs in the High Street (the opposite happens later on). We need to people to assemble stalls and man them throughout the day (Raffle and BBQ). Bread rolls to be collected from bakers, meat from butchers and raffle prizes from traders on the day – all well before 9am! We need people to assemble and man the PR and MC Tent, as well as all the associated electrics involved as well as stage management. We need people to mark up the Street Plan and supervise the stallholders, ensuring they keep to the set up instructions posted to them at the beginning of this month.

December – January

Unless called out unnecessarily – have a good rest until January and thanks for all your help!