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Lights switch-on

A NEW section of decorative lighting on Bognor Regis seafront is due to be turned on tomorrow.


The series of lamppost decorations will return to a section of Marine Drive West for the first time in five years.


The previous illuminations, pictured right, were scrapped when they had reached the end of their lives at a time when West Sussex County Council carried out a large-scale street lighting replacement programme.


The low voltage LED festoon cabling was being wrapped around the columns on the road between Park Road and Nyewood Lane this week.


The decorations match those lights installed around Waterloo Square last year. But the new ones are white instead of being multi-coloured.


The new lights on the six columns will come on about 9pm, along with the existing displays, as fireworks light up the sky above the pier as part of the Big Switch-on Weekend.


This has been organised by Bognor Regis Seafront Lights. Greg Burt, the group’s secretary, said it was likely to be the last year of the 14 existing displays which the group has nicknamed the ‘umbrella stands’.


“They are starting to look tatty and it just isn’t worth trying to replace the bulbs on them,” he said.


“In addition, we are evaluating whether it is worth rewiring them. Unfortunately, like so many things these days, it is just cheaper to replace them en bloc.”


As well as the lights coming to life in advance of the summer, this weekend also sees Coles Funfair taking place along The Esplanade.


This has meant the closure of The Esplanade between Clarence Road and Lennox Street from 6pm yesterday until early Tuesday morning.


The lighting group was formed in 1997. It receives funds from Bognor Regis and Felpham councils and nearly as much again is raised from fundraising events like jumble sales, a garden fete, donations from traders, sponsorship and the illuminations gala on August bank holiday Sunday.


Residents can support the lights through the ongoing scheme to adopt a light bulb.


For £2 a year, they can adopt a bulb of their colour in return for an attractive certificate. Applications forms are at Heygates Bookshop at 67 High Street.

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