Constantine Cornwall

Constantine’s lights will shine this Christmas – Covid or no Covid!

The hundreds of enthusiastic villagers at last year’s Christmas Lights switch on leaves us in no doubt how much pleasure and benefit lighting our village brings to the community. This year has been one of the most difficult in recent times and so, more than ever, it is crucial our village is lit up during the dark winter months to give us all a feeling of community and hope for 2021.

Fund raising events throughout 2020 have been limited, but as always, individuals have risen to the challenge and contributed in many exciting and varied ways. Villagers have made generous personal donations, sold plants, fruit, vegetables, jigsaw puzzles, and home-made jewellery. We were able to hold the ‘Books at the Bus Stop’ event just in time before mass gatherings were banned, and there have been books for sale on my driveway since lockdown eased. So thank you to everyone who has purchased or donated books. As always, we thank the Parish Council for their continued support and significant contribution of £600 to this year’s fund.

We have been asked on numerous occasions if Constantine will be decorated this year as there have been no opportunities for our usual fundraisers and there are several villages in the area who have decided not to put up their festive displays. The Christmas Lights Committee have always set funds aside for a rainy day, and this is our ‘rainy day’! We are confident we will be able to decorate the village in the same way as we have done for the past 6 years, working in small family teams and socially distanced. By the time you read this we will have made our annual pilgrimage to the Christmas tree farm to label up 40 medium trees, 6 large trees, and we hope, one enormous tree for the bank, all ready for collection and then distribution at the beginning of December.

Christmas trees are offered to everyone in Fore Street and Clinton Road. We also offer sets of lights to houses with lovely outside trees or bushes. We always have a very large tree at the bus
stop and beautiful crosses on the St Constantine Church tower. We put up a large tree at Brill just outside the Cricket Ground, and offer a tree to Seworgan, Port Navas, St Constantine Church, Social Club, Tolmen Centre and, historically, the Queens Arms car park.

Port Navas

What we are able to do is limited by access to a power supply, so the many silhouettes, Brill Tree, the village crib scene, lights coming up the hill from Ponjeravah, lights along the Recreation ground and around the Church Hall and in the village carpark are reliant on the goodwill of the nearby neighbours who let us plug in. Several trees in other places use battery lights although these are never quite as successful.

Sadly, we will not be able to hold a mass gathering for switch-on or a village lantern parade this year, but we will be encouraging as many folk as possible to try and have lights up and on by dusk on Sunday 6 December giving a real sense of community which is so acutely felt when we usually gather together at the bus stop.

We have been told by so many of you that driving along Fore Street and seeing the lit trees and lights, or the Church crosses from a distance as you come into Constantine, gives such comfort and boosts our festive spirt – it really is immeasurable.

Stay safe and well and we shall hopefully see you next year at some of our village fundraiser events.

Tracey Clowes, Christmas Lights Team