COLEFORD’s Christmas lights were switched on after an afternoon of entertainment on Saturday (December 3).

The switch on honoured the memory of Malcolm Bradley, a stalwart of the Coleford Christmas Lights Committee and other groups in the area, who died earlier this year at the age of 48.

His mother, Judith, activated the plunger to switch on the lights in front of a crowd of hundreds.

She was joined on the stage at the clock tower by her great -grandchildren Mr Bradley’s nieces and nephews Emilia, Lilly and Oliver as well as Santa.

Santa arrived on the sleigh, called Billy, which was built by firefighters at Coleford fire station in memory of one of their former colleagues.

The sleigh led a parade of local children from primary schools including Berry Hill, Clearwell and Coalway and Little Stars Nursery from the fire station to the clock tower.

Mayor of Coleford thanked the many volunteers who made the lights display possible – and the crowd who turned up.

He said: “I’d like to thank all of you for turning up today and making it such an amazing switch on

Most importantly I’d like to say a massive thank you to the dedicated team of volunteers who work in all weathers most of the year planning, fixing the lights, testing the lights and erecting the lights to get us where we are today.”

He also spoke about Mr Bradley’s contribution to the town.

He said: “Malcolm was an absolute stalwart for the Coleford Christmas lights.

He was involved with the original committee and was pivotal in the transition between the original group of volunteers and our current group of volunteers, lending his experience, his help and support and coming out on all the Sundays leading up to Christmas, testing light bulb after light bulb to make sure our town looks fantastic.

Malcolm was a hugely dedicated volunteer in our community, volunteering with the Severn Area Rescue Association and a community first responder who volunteered with St John’s Ambulance for many years.

Cllr Penny also announced the winners of the Christmas window competition, which had A Christmas Carol as the theme, were Light Fantastic DIY with Gwyn James Solicitors second and Studio M Hairdressers in the third place.