A Tale of Two Cities

York Council says, “Recycle old Christmas lights to Acomb”

The York Council is planning to offer its old Christmas decoration lights, no longer required for the City centre, to Acomb and Haxby.

Front Street Christmas lights

The lights have become surplus to requirements following the decision by the York Business Improvement District (BID) to invest heavily in their own displays. These have already been reinstalled on the Bar Walls in preparation for this year’s festivities.

Christmas lighting in Front Street has improved significantly in recent years thanks to the efforts of local traders and residents.

Acomb Front Street is changing rapidly as the effects of the recession wear off and the efforts of the local trader’s organisation Acomb Alive bear fruits. There are few empty premises in the area while some independent traders may also be set to benefit from budget changes announced on Monday.

City centre lights

But there may be a feeling that the “hand me down” lights proposal once again fails to recognise what is needed to give Front Street a major lift. Residents, in survey after survey, have criticised the uneven surface in the pedestrian area and have called for a holistic solution.

This would involve the owners of the private forecourts, which would have to be incorporated into any paving scheme, cooperating. In turn this could only happen if a full time precinct manager were to be appointed and funded by the Council.

That initiative doesn’t seem to be any closer.

Meanwhile the Council is considering commissioning more reports into the ailing City Centre retail economy. They have been shocked by the decline of Coney Street as a shopping destination, although they claim that the “high street decline” is less pronounced in York than in other City’s.

Visitor numbers – who are not necessarily shoppers – have increased over the last 5 years.

Nevertheless parts of the City, including the Councils own Guildhall building, are looking shabby and need urgent attention.

 

Foxwood Christmas lights competition winners announced

The Foxwood Residents Association has announced the prize winners in its inaugural Christmas house lighting competition.

Top prize went to a home in Bellwood Drive

Runner up prizes went to homes in Linnet Way, Spindle Close, Reynard Court and St Josephs Court.

Top neighbourhood display was judged to be the homes in the Accent housing estate .

More on the Foxwood RA Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FoxwoodResidentsAssociation/

Acomb Christmas lights “switch on” in pictures

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Busy marker

Busy market

getting busier

getting busier

Cheers

Cheers

Panto time?

Panto time?

Red sky at night

Red sky at night

The only way is up

The only way is up

Crowds getting bigger

Crowds getting bigger

and bigger

and bigger

Waiting for Santa

Waiting for Santa

He's arrived

He’s arrived

Lights

Lights

Green switch on

Green switch on

It really works!

It really works!

Library lights

Library lights

Light up Acomb

Acomb lit up

With thanks to Syue Hunter, the Acomb Alive team and Minster FM who made yesterday so successful.

Next market on Friday 16th December

What’s on in York: Market Day and Christmas lights turn on in Front Street on Saturday

The Christmas tree in Front Street has been erected today.

Unfortunately, Council officials have apparently asked for signage advertising Saturday’s market and Christmas lights switch on to be removed.

If true, we find that quite extraordinary.

It is only a month since the same officials said that dozens of fly posters, adverting a visiting circus, could remain for up to 4 weeks.

Now a locally organised event is targeted for enforcement action.

Not good enough
Christmas Tree in Front Street

Christmas Tree in Front Street

 

acomb-alive-christmas

Acomb Christmas lights appeal hits target

The appeal to raise funds for festoon lighting in Acomb shopping centre has hit its target.

Over £6,485 has been raised by the appeal which was organised by Acomb Alive, the independent traders group.

It is expected that the lights will be put up shortly and a “switch on” is planned for Saturday at 4:00pm 

 

click for details

click for details

Acomb Christmas lights appeal closes in on target

Only 5 days left to make a donation

christmas-lights

Christmas trees have been delivered for display in Acomb

Christmas trees have been delivered for display in Acomb

When recent pledges are added in, we understand that less than £1000 is now needed to meet the appeal target for Christmas lights in Acomb.

However the appeal closes on Tuesday

The independent Acomb Alive traders group are already gearing up for Saturday 26th November when  a big “switch on” is planned. Minster FM will entertain the crowds from 2:00pm while a special guest will switch on the lights at 4:00pm

Christmas trees have already arrived (right).

You can help push the appeal to its target by donating “on line” here  https://www.spacehive.com/lightupacombthischristmas

26th November will also see the return of the popular Acomb Market on Front Street. It will be open between 9:00am and 5:00pm

More Christmas festivities are planned in December.

 

acomb-alive-christmas

 

 

York Christmas lights switch on this Thursday

A sparkling evening in York is promised for Thursday 20 November, when the Christmas lights will be switched on by the Lord Mayor and younger members of his family, as well as favourite characters from this year’s pantomime at York Theatre Royal. The event will be compered by Adam Tomlinson and Anna Wallace, presenters at BBC Radio York.

Merry Christmas 2013 smaller

The Lord Mayor will be joined in St Helen’s Square by his four grandchildren who will together perform the countdown to illuminating the St Leonard’s Hospice Light up a Life Christmas Tree and Christmas lights around the square. Panto favourites funny-man Martin Barrass and much-loved baddie David Leonard will also be on hand to add to the fun and bring a little of York Theatre Royal’s Mother Goose style to the evening.

Frank Woods, Chair of the York Retail Forum said: “Here we are again, on the verge of Christmas, and approaching the start of the festive period with an official switch on of the lights at St Helens Square. This is a fabulous time of year, hard work in the retail sector, but very rewarding as we all see our clients leaving the shops happy with the purchases, ready for placing under the tree. It is, of course, also a vital time for retailers, which can make a trading year really successful. The lights switch on, and St Nicholas Fair/festival is the perfect way to kick-star Christmas, especially as, this year, the St Nicholas Fair is to be extended over a month.”

Retailers throughout York will be open until 8pm on the evening of 20 November and on each Thursday evening up until Christmas.

Approximate timings for the switch on will be:

  • · From 5.30pm: The University of York Brass Band play Christmas carols and favourite Christmas music in St Helen’s Square
  • · 6.10pm: The Lord Mayor and pantomime characters will be briefly interviewed by BBC Radio York and will start the public countdown
  • · 6.15pm/6.20pm: The St Leonard’s Hospice Christmas tree lights will be officially switched on. The University of York Brass Band continues playing and local choirs, including Haxby Road Academy, Supersingers and York Music Centre Girls Chamber Choir will sing around the city throughout the evening, bringing musical magic to different retailers.

Residents and visitors can also see the new Christmas lights at the Coppergate Shopping Centre which promise to thrill and delight whilst also raising money for York based charity, Jessie’s Fund. A magical, musical Christmas tree comes alive each hour and, on receipt of a donation, will play music and change colours. On Sunday 30 November from 3pm shoppers and families who have benefitted from Jessie’s Fund together with local retailers will be celebrating Christmas with singing around the tree.

Meanwhile, Gillygate is organising more Christmas celebrations when the street is transformed into ‘Jollygate’ between 5pm and 8pm on Thursday 11 December. The Gillygate Traders association, in partnership with Access to Music, will be presenting an extravaganza of sound and shopping as shops come alive with the beautiful sounds and talent from Access to Music students past and present. Shops will host their own bespoke gigs and the musical mayhem culminates in a headline act at The Gillygate pub after-party from 8pm onwards. Everyone’s welcome!