Christmas Illumination committee debrief 11 January 2023

Christmas illuminations committee Uploaded on February 8, 2023




JANUARY 11th 2023








John Print (JP) (Parish Councillor & Chair), Cathy Blake (CB) (Parish Councillor & Secretary), Mike Garland (MG) Parish Councillor, Kathy Garland (KG),  Maxine Williams (MW), Nigel Williams (NW) Sarah Lowe (SL), Rachel Ferris (RF), Dave Middlemiss (DM), Paulette Middlemiss (PM), Tom & Sarah Gibson (TG & SG – Hearts of Oak).


  • Acceptance of Minutes 30th November 2022
  • No Apologies
  • Welcome to Jess Woolly – currently working with WhatsApp & Local Business Groups, developing pool of interested parties for Events. Would be happy to help/Volunteer with our Events/Projects.


Precis Points:

  • How did the ‘Christmas Illuminations Event’ meet our original commitments (ie our original concept proposed was to ‘Expand Christmas Lights Switch On’ to involve further activities, encompass Drybrook School & Hearts of Oak as active partners – giving Drybrook Parishioners a ‘change’ and ‘something new’.

  • 335 coins exchanged for Chips – possibly more, but chip shop only had 2 members of staff, so possibly missed some customers as queue very long.
  • Over 400 people served in the Pub – not enough pub staff to facilitate
  • Market Stall Holders all gave positive feedback – some selling out of stock, and would return next year
  • PTFA Stall took over £300 with £69 donation from Pub
  • The Sleigh and Snow Machine worked well – with positive feedback from people
  • Santa’s Grotto – also worked well, Santa was an excellent Santa. Already said he would do next year (perhaps will have another suit, and did end up paying for ‘beard paint’ himself). Grotto was secured well.
  • I x PA System used – worked well at area used and Megaphones worked well
  • Male Voice Choir/Band – positive feedback from people, they enjoyed themselves too and would do next year
  • School Choir – worked well, with Kids supported by parents. More space would be useful.
  • Flyers used generally worked well
  • Stewards – Dave & Nick worked well, Stewards Vests used by the Team
  • Clear-up was good – all helped
  • Movement down to pub/stalls after light switch on worked well – but did have a 10min delay.
  • Dean Radio attended Event and did interview with KG, and Event was featured in local paper ‘Review’
  • Overall a great Family and Community Event, enjoyed by those who facilitated and by people attending.

What would it take to replicate or build on that success for next year?

What didn’t go well? Why? What needs to improve next year?

What would it take to prevent or mitigate the obstacles we ran into for next year?


  • Improved Communication!: Delay in getting School Child to ‘Switch on button’, plus Councillor Meek on Cherry Picker thought the Child was switching lights on from the Cherry Picker.

            This led to crowd countdown and lights not switched on!

            Once rectified Lights On after second countdown.

  • Give out Santa presents earlier – after light Switch On, not before
  • Close road from pub to Funeral entrance
  • Make more use of Media – Did not use ‘Hashtag’ for Event. Make use of other Local Schools for leaflet distribution.
  • Needed to supply more gold coins for Chips – suggestion to state “While stocks last” next year
  • Use of Sleigh as a point to sell items etc….. – help promote sales
  • Market stall area at Pub not well lit – SG will be looking into 3Phase for extra lighting, or use of pub Generator
  • Shop on the Cross stated they were not aware of ‘what’s happening’ – better engagement with them next year
  • Music could have started much earlier, and could have entertainment going on much later
  • Stalls and Crowd dispersed by 7pm, so change timings; 4pm-7pm
  • Comments made that Pub didn’t do their Raffle – an expectation from locals. Requires organization for next year – pub had limited staff
  • No ‘Mulled wine’ – but limitations to set up/run without more Volunteers

What can we do/add for next year?

What questions do we need to answer before next year?

What further support do we need for next year?


  • Extend length of Christmas Lights in village to pub; Decision/Expense to be discussed and agreed with Parish Council (PC)
  • Upgrade of current electrical circuit Christmas Lights; DM arranged an assessment carried out on 13thDecember, quote given £6172.09. Will be discussed and agreed at next PC Meeting, but assessment also stated current set-up does not meet current Electrical Standards.
  • Event not planned early enough – only started in September.
  • Discuss at PC meeting in May and set-up Committee meetings to start in June 2023. Invite Aaron Randell (Santa) to meeting.
  • Identify ‘long-lead in’ items
  • Units at Funeral Directors would be interested in involvement for 2023
  • More Stall Holders could be facilitated – need an optimum number
  • Recruit more Volunteers
  • There was a £150 Refund from the late delivery of Santa’s Grotto – all agreed to donate to the PTFA
  • Need to address ‘unbalance’ between ‘Profit/Donation’ – the Chip Shop profits from the Event, whilst other local businesses; ie, Co-Op, Pub, & Butchers offer/make donations for the Event.
  • £3k added budget enough – Total spent = £2556.27, leaving £443.73 which will be returned to PC
  • 2023 Christmas Light ‘Switch On’ – Saturday 2nd December





  • Official Date: Saturday May 6th 2023


  • Drybrook School/PTFA not organizing or offering anything

  • Pub – will be offering Market Stalls, Bouncy Castles, Music & Food, Raffle, and Face Painting – as a Community Event from 12 Noon or 1pm onwards.

  • Suggested and Agreed to set-up a ‘Street Party’ – offering Entertainment such as Entertainers/Performers, Bring your Own Food to eat at Tables lined along the main road – ensuring Road Closure.

  • Pan Todd Beacon will be lit – need to engage with Friends of Pan Todd, find out time etc……

  • Liaise with other parts of Parish – ie, Ruardean, Harrow Hill, Brierley etc….so any other Events within the Parish can all be advertised together

  • NW & MW will source costs for potential ‘Entertainment’ (as Performers etc…will need booking ASAP) to go to next PC Meeting on 17th Jan

  • Budget needs to be decided – in order PC can agree expense

  • DONM: 25th January 7.30pm Hearts of Oak