Avonbridge hosts long-awaited Christmas tree switch-on

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Festive and community spirit helped to light up Avonbridge as the village held a long-awaited Christmas tree switch-on.

Excitement had been building in the run-up to the big day on Saturday, December 8 as residents had gone so long without having their own village tree that few could actually recall when such an event had last taken place.

Residents turned out in their droves for the grand reveal at the Avonside Inn where mince pies and mulled wine were dished out as schoolchildren sang carols.

Members of Avonbridge and Standburn Community Council (ASCC) were instrumental in organising the switch-on, which saw a 100-strong crowd show their support for what is hoped will be the first of many similar festive celebrations to come.

Funding for the event, which went “without a hitch”, was secured from Foundation Scotland and the tree itself was provided by Conifox.

Organisers highlighted the helpfulness of the Avonside Inn owners, Karen and George Robertson, as well as resident John Ingram, as being crucial in enabling their plan to come together.

Alison Frerichs, ASCC treasurer, said: “We decided as a community council we wanted to have an outside tree and lights.

“We used to have a tree years and years ago but nobody can remember having one!

“We spoke to the owners of the Avonside Inn and asked if we could use their hall and said we would reimburse them.

“If we didn’t have the pub we wouldn’t have a tree.

“Myself and Jo Hirst and the committee agreed all of the stuff and said to the pub about a switch-on, which we had after the pub’s Christmas fair.

“It went without a hitch and we got the schools involved. We had notices in bags and put posts on Facebook.

“We’re planning to have a tree in Standburn next year and we’re planning to do a yearly event and have something for both villages.”