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Preparations complete for Deal Christmas lights switch-on after £2k boost from auction

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Deal will be aglow on Friday as the official Christmas lights switch-on takes place.

Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade has been planning the family event for months, with support from local businesses and volunteers.

Volunteers from Deal Rowing Club helped dress the trees
Volunteers from Deal Rowing Club helped dress the trees

Final preparations were made at the weekend when 115 trees were adorned on the front of shops throughout the town, with six more due to go up in Walmer.

This was thanks to three three-man ladder crews who ensured the work was completed safely around Sunday shoppers.

The trees had been decorated the day before at Castle Removals Industrial Units by committee volunteers and members of Deal Rowing Club, who gave their time for a fourth year.

Secretary Peter Davies said: "Decorating the 121 trees took three hours.

"The 16 volunteers were provided with hot drinks, bacon and sausage sandwiches from The Pit Stop Cafe to keep them going, with Christmas songs playing in the background to motivate them."

It comes after the annual auction, which funds the lights, maintenance costs and the switch-on event, raised a record £2,280.

Mr Davies described a packed house at Deal Angling Club on Friday, December 12.

He said: "The whopping amount raised this year beats our all time record of £2,021 in 2019.

"It includes money from a gentleman at our market stall and a nice elderly lady from Mongeham, plus a sizeable amount from Miles and Barr Estate agents.

"The star lots turned out to be a home-made Christmas cake from The Crafting Baker, meal vouchers at Dunkerleys, overnight stays at the Royal Hotel and The Clarendon, a Christmas hamper donated by the Mayor, a silver pendant necklace made by Rees & Rees, and a beautiful necklace, bracelet and earring set from John Corley Stained Glass Studio.

A 'packed house' at the Christmas Lights auction helped raise a record amount
A 'packed house' at the Christmas Lights auction helped raise a record amount

"The money raised will be used to repair and increase lighting throughout Deal and Walmer this year and next."

Deal's Christmas Lights will be switched on by secret local heroes at 7.25pm.

The fun will start with Johnny Lewis on stage in the High Street from 6pm with appearances from Father Christmas, stars of the Royal Marines Pantomime and other well known faces.

Sandwich and Dover's events will take place next weekend - both on Saturday, December 4.

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