Stanwick sparkles as village races group step in to bring Christmas lights joy

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The Stanwick Races Group joined forces with Cllr Helen Howell to fund the lights

Residents of an East Northants village have been bringing much-needed festive cheer to brighten up the centre of their community with a dazzling display.

Stanwick Road Races Group had already pledged to upgrade the Christmas lights display in the village using money from their Easter road race fund but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Easter Monday races were cancelled.

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Wanting to keep their promise, the hole in the lighting budget was filled by East Northants councillor Helen Howell who granted their Christmas wish after she was approached, handing out £300 towards the additional lights from her member empowerment fund.

A spokesman for the Stanwick Road Races Group said: "Despite the odds, the Stanwick Christmas lights are even better this year in the hope that it will bring some much needed festive cheer to the centre of the village.

"In 2019, members of the Stanwick Races Group agreed to allocate some of the profits from the Easter Monday Races to expand and improve the Christmas lights in the centre of the village, and committed themselves to making additional donations to make further improvements in future years.

"But then Covid-19 reared its ugly head, and the 2020 Easter Monday Races had to be cancelled. The group found itself with limited funds to spare, but maintained their commitment to making further improvements to the village’s Christmas lights for 2020.

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"East Northants councillor Helen Howell was approached to see if she could help, and fortunately she was able to do so by granting the sum of £300 towards the purchase and

Dave Munday took this of the lights at St Laurence's ChurchDave Munday took this of the lights at St Laurence's Church
Dave Munday took this of the lights at St Laurence's Church

installation of additional Christmas lights in Stanwick via her member empowerment fund."

Cllr Howell said: "I am delighted to be able to support Stanwick Races Group with monies from my empowerment fund. This is exactly what the fund was designed for and this year especially we all need a little extra festive cheer.

"I would like to congratulate Stanwick Races Group for all the hard work and dedication they give throughout the year to the community of Stanwick. Merry Christmas everyone."

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Normally, the Christmas lights would be officially switched on to coincide with the Christingles at St Laurence Church, and the village hall Christmas fair in December, but this year organisers decided that the village needed an earlier sparkly boost to lift spirits.

Photo by Dave Munday of High Street,  StanwickPhoto by Dave Munday of High Street,  Stanwick
Photo by Dave Munday of High Street, Stanwick

Unable to have an official ‘switch-on’ event due to Covid-19 restrictions, representatives from the Stanwick Races Group and the Friends of Stanwick Church invited Stanwick Primary Academy's head boy and head girl who were asked to do the honours.

The spokesman said: "The Stanwick Races Group is very grateful to Helen and the East Northants Council for their much needed support, and together with the Friends of Stanwick Church and the Stanwick Village Hall Trust, the group coordinated their efforts to provide and install the additional lights and illuminated Christmas trees.

"Thanks must go to the Old School Shop and Post Office, For the Love of Wine and the Groom@Stanwick for their generous contributions this year, and to Stanwick Club and residential properties in the High Street for their continuing support."

Kul Sidhu, postmaster at Stanwick Post Office, added: "The lights are amazing and they have done a tremendous job. It's a real boost for the Christmas spirit."