Red tape fails to dull Christ­mas sparkle

Campbeltown Courier - - LEISURE - Words and pho­to­graphs by Han­nah O’Han­lon ed­i­[email protected]­bel­town­courier .co.uk

The only red tape peo­ple want to see at Christ­mas is the sticky stuff used to wrap their gifts. But Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s has been ac­cused of tak­ing the shine off Camp­bel­town’s Christ­mas lights switch-on. Due to the vol­un­teer-run com­mit­tee be­ing un­able to af­ford a £3,000 traf­fic man­age­ment plan, pro­posed by Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil and Po­lice Scot­land to en­sure the pa­rade could be held safely, there was no tra­di­tional Main Street pa­rade at last Fri­day night’s event. The event was held in Burn­side Square in­stead. A spokesper­son for the com­mit­tee added that the main fea­ture for this year was to be a ceil­ing of lights above the square, but that ‘last minute red tape’ from the coun­cil meant it, too, could not go ahead. The com­mit­tee thanked McFadyens Con­trac­tors for its help in plan­ning the fea­ture but pro­vided no fur­ther de­tails as to why it could not go ahead. An Ar­gyll and Bute spokesper­son said: ‘Pub­lic safety is our top pri­or­ity. We worked hard to sup­port the Camp­bel­town Christ­mas Lights com­mit­tee to make sure the switch-on hap­pened on Novem­ber 30, pro­vid­ing the same light­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tion as pre­vi­ous years. ‘There was a pro­posal to erect a new, be­spoke, street light­ing fea­ture in Burn­side Square. A de­sign was sub­mit­ted to Roads and Amenity Ser­vices on Novem­ber 22, 2018.

In­suf­fi­cient

‘Un­for­tu­nately the de­sign had in­suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion and had not been cer­ti­fied by a com­pe­tent per­son. This type of fea­ture must be struc­turally sound to en­sure the pub­lic are not put at risk.’ Although the vi­brant and glit­tery lights il­lu­mi­nated Main Street and Lon­grow af­ter a 10 se­cond count­down, only the twinkly tree lights came on in Burn­side Square. The plunger was pushed by two lucky golden ticket win­ners, Kami-Leigh Pope, three, and Daniel Gra­ham, 10, who were cho­sen at ran­dom from the nu­mer­ous peo­ple nom­i­nated. They were joined on stage by three vis­i­tors from Glas­gow’s fic­tional Craiglang – Still Game’s Jack Jarvis, Victor McDade and Isa Dren­nan – ex­pertly por­trayed by Stephen Gor­man, James Ron­ald and Kay John­ston. In hon­our of the St An­drew’s Day date, the event had a Scot­tish theme, with Saltire flag bunting adorn­ing a stage along­side twin­kling Christ­mas lights, turn­ing it into a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion.

Tal­ented

Many tal­ented mu­si­cians per­formed on stage through­out the evening. Teacups and merry-gor­ound rides from Ste­warts Amuse­ments kept the young-

sters en­ter­tained, and Santa even popped into the nearby Sal­va­tion Army citadel to hear what some of them are hop­ing to get on Christ­mas day. Although the com­mit­tee’s plans did not quite come to fruition, the young­sters en­joyed their evening of en­ter­tain­ments, spent with fam­ily and friends, which is what the fes­tive sea­son is all about.

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Kami-Leigh Pope, helped by her mum Brooke Sar­gent, and Daniel Gra­ham push the plunger.

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A Sal­va­tion Army choir opened the evening’s en­ter­tain­ment.

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From left: Isa Dren­nan, Jack Jarvis and Victor McDade, also known as Kay John­ston, Stephen Gor­man and James Ron­ald.

Jamie Gra­ham and Elaine Ross got into the fes­tive spirit with their chil­dren, Ol­lie, six, and Ad­die, four.

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Han­nah Black sings along­side the Burn­side Square tree lights which came on af­ter the count­down.

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Katie Wil­son’s an­gelic voice cap­ti­vated the crowd.

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Euan Mclean’s shoul­ders pro­vided the per­fect perch for daugh­ter, Hol­lie, five.

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Jay Taven­dale, five, and brother Jaxon, three, met Santa and two of his elves in the Sal­va­tion Army citadel.

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