Clutch of traders left in the dark after ‘technical delays’ to Letchworth Christmas lights

It's looking a bit gloomy down Leys Avenue after part of the street has been left without Christmas

It's looking a bit gloomy down Leys Avenue after part of the street has been left without Christmas lights. - Credit: Archant

A clutch of traders have been left in the dark after the bottom end of Leys Avenue was not lit up by the Letchworth Christmas Lights Switch-On over the weekend.

Although Saturday’s festive fun left a lasting impression on the scores of visitors to the town centre, the Letchworth Garden Heritage Foundation has been left disappointed after ‘technical delays’ snuffed out the chance to light up the whole of one of the town’s focal retail streets.

The news came as a surprise to Michele McClure, the owner of Advance Tanning who has had Christmas lights outside her beauty salon for years.

“When I saw that we had been left with no lights I was disgusted to be honest,” she said.

“We, and many other shops at this end of the street, have had posters advertising the Lights Switch-On for weeks so we expected to have the same treatment as the other shops.

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“It feels like we have been forgotten at this end of the street, and the only lights at this part of Leys Avenue look like they have been flung into a few trees by a teenager.

“We pay our rates and we pay money towards the Letchworth BID so it is sad really.”

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Paul McKenna, who is environment and landscape manager at the Foundation, said: “We are sorry this didn’t go as smoothly as hoped due to technical delays.

“The contractors did come on Friday to fit the remaining lights but couldn’t get the access they needed as fairground lorries were already setting up. However, they will be back tomorrow to put up the remaining lights.

“While that is a bit disappointing, we are really pleased with the new lights we have installed and the wonderful tree in Leys Square.”

Tom Hardy of the Letchworth BID said: “The Foundation has arranged and funded the lights in the town centre this year.

“We have received various comments from traders and members of the public which we have raised with the Foundation.

“Lights are due to go up on the bottom end of Leys Avenue tomorrow.

“I believe there was an issue with Herts County Council’s contractor Ringways and permission to put certain lights up in the town was refused at last minute causing a major set back to the installation.”

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