Galashiels call for volunteers to see the lights

While other Borders towns drew crowds to their Christmas lights switch-on events, Bank St in Galashiels was quiet on Saturday evening.
While other Borders towns drew crowds to their Christmas lights switch-on events, Bank St in Galashiels was quiet on Saturday evening.

The chairman of Galashiels Chamber of Trade, Craig Murray, has appealed for more people to help organise a proper Christmas lights switch-on.

While other Borders towns put on a bit of a show – as seen in our pages this week – in Galashiels, it has been a bit of a non-event in recent years.

And on Saturday, following day-time events held by Galashiels Rotary Club, people headed over to the tree in Bank Street Gardens, only to find some of the lights had already been switched on the previous day – and some had yet to be switched on.

Mr Murray, director at local baker Alex Dalgetty and Sons, said: “In the last five years we haven’t had a grand switch-on in Galashiels.

“I can understand why people are annoyed and frustrated, but while Galashiels people are not prepared to come forward to help, it will stay the same.

“We do our bit by putting the lights up every year, but for a proper event there needs to be a co-ordinated approach by all the groups.

“The last couple of years, it’s really been two or three of us putting up the lights, although the town’s traders did manage to work together last year to provide the new lights in Channel Street, which were worth close to £10,000.”

Mr Murray added that the real intention was that the failed Galashiels Business Improvement District (BID) scheme would have taken on the task of putting on a festive switch-on event.

He said: “That was the real intention from the start, with the BID project investing tens of thousands of pounds over five years.”

During the day, the Rotary club’s Christmas market saw stalls selling arts, crafts and confectionery, and Santa himself paid a visit.

Some of the town’s lights couldn’t be switched on in time, such as the library decorations, due to the buildings being closed for the weekend.