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Sheerness Town Team appeals for Christmas lights help

By John Nurden

Sheerness could be plunged into darkness this Christmas.

The Sheerness Town Team, which provides the festive lights around the clock tower and Broadway, must raise more than £6,000 if the display is to go ahead.

The extra cash is needed now that Swale council no longer financially supports the Town Team.

Sheerness Town Team members Ria Crawford of CCG and Sheila Smith of Rainbow Jewellers are offering shops, pubs and offices a collecting jar this year's Christmas lights.
Sheerness Town Team members Ria Crawford of CCG and Sheila Smith of Rainbow Jewellers are offering shops, pubs and offices a collecting jar this year's Christmas lights.

Team members Ria Crawford, of CCG in Broadway, Sheerness, and Sheila Smith, of Rainbow Jewellers, The Crescent, Sheerness, are asking shops, pubs, clubs and offices to help raise the sum by putting collecting tins on their counters.

Vice-chairman Brian Spoor said: “We were naturally disappointed the council won’t support us as before so we have launched a public appeal in the hope Sheerness will once again be lit up for Christmas.”

Last year the Town Team used £6,000 of its grant to pay for the lights. But that source of funds has now dried up.

Sheerness Christmas lights. But will there be enough cash to bring them back this year?
Sheerness Christmas lights. But will there be enough cash to bring them back this year?

Mr Spoor added: “Sheerness shop owners are feeling the pinch from competition at Neats Court, congested roads and over-zealous parking wardens. The last thing they want is to lose the Christmas lights which bring a little bit of festive cheer to the High Street.”

Last year, the Town Team spent £500 replacing blue LED icicle lights around the clock and more than £4,000 on getting Sheppey firm Prime One Maintenance to install the lights and take them down.

Another £1,000 was spent on a lights switch-on event featuring the DIY SOS Ratcliffe family. Insurance fees, licences and storage rental gobbled up a further £1,000.

Late-night lights parade at Sheerness Christmas market.
Late-night lights parade at Sheerness Christmas market.

The committee of volunteers is also hoping to stage another of its Christmas markets. For details, call Ria on 07538 944233 or email r.crawford@ccg-sales.co.uk

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