On Saturday 24th November, the town sprung to life at 10:30am as the Town Crier announced the start of proceedings on the Square to mark the Christmas light Switch On day. The stage was set for a full day of entertainment with back to back musicians and singers from the local area and schools. Panto characters from this years Cinderalla production at the Tivoli turned up to pit half the crowd against the other half with a competition for the loudest hecklers!
Whilst a little drizzly, spectators were in force to support all performers and helpers came out to collect for the Mayor’s charities this year which are Julia’s House children’s hospice, Allendale House and the Allendale Centre.
They Mayor welcomed Father Christmas to town at 1pm by opening a grotto in the Coach & Horses, he will be back every Saturday in December (except 8th when he’ll be busy in the Children’s Parade)!
Nearing the end of the day the star arrived in town at about 4pm and had a Guard of Honour from the Militia to the Square Chinese for a Champagne reception. As usual the community gave great support to the event and this year the crowd was even bigger given the town had attracted the longest standing and very successful premiership football manager Eddie Howe. At 4:15pm the Mayor and Eddie entered the stage along with AFC Bournemouth’s Jimmy Glass. Eddie gave a few words to the crowd and prizes to the two Christmas Card competition winners Finlay Dawe and Elsie Gray. The Mayor Cllr Mrs Kelly Webb, Chris Brown the Town Crier and Jimmy Glass, all had an opportunity to ‘interview’ Eddie on stage, much to the crowds’ delight.
Cllr Webb said “What a superb day! It was great to see so many people, when we started seeing the AFC BMTH scarfs and coasts arriving, it was obviously going to be a big crowd by 4:30. Eddie was very generous with his time, after the switch on he signed lots of autographs and had photos taken with fans. He also gave an exclusive interview to Radio Wimborne. We’re very grateful that he was able to make time for the town her went to school in, it really was appreciated by everyone”.
Thanks to the Square Chinese for hosting the reception and taking care of the guests so well.