Crowds gather in Bulwell's Market Square

Locals were left feeling deflated last night after Bulwell’s Christmas lights switch-on wasn’t quite as spectacular as hoped.

A few hundred local residents and children from nearby schools had gathered at the event in the Bulwell Market Square.

The big moment was not as magical as hoped however, with the countdown and “magic plunger” illuminating a solitary Christmas tree about 100m away from the stage and crowds.

The rest of the high street’s lights were switched on around two minutes later, after most of the crowd had dispersed.

“It was nothing special,” said Andrea Murphy, of Rock Street, Bulwell.

“All the lights were switched on separately and I don’t know why. It really detracted from the event.”

Operators had to switch the lights on one-by-one
Operators had to switch the lights on one-by-one

Operators from the electricity board confirmed that the rest of the lights had to be switched on manually and individually.

Nottingham City Council were asked to comment on reports that locals were disappointed, but have yet to respond.

“No loos”

The anti-climax of the Christmas lights was the biggest in a series of problems that hampered the event.

There was confusion as to who was going to get the honour of actually turning the lights on.

The job of sinking the plunger was up for grabs after it had been offered as the prize of a free raffle for two of the children in the crowd.

The winners, drawn by the Councillor for Bulwell Forest Eunice Campbell, had to be picked several times before the winners could be located in the crowd.

There was very nearly disappointment for one boy as he and his family had to run up to the stage before the winner was re-drawn again.

Early crowds were also left waiting as the fairground attractions struggled with problems due to a “tripping generator “.

Three bouncy-castle style rides began to lose air several times during the evening, causing eager children to have to vacate the ride quickly before it had fully deflated and wait until the problem was fixed.

Others in the crowd complained about the lack of toilets available at the event, with one resident saying it was “ridiculous there were no loos” especially given the number of schoolchildren involved in the entertainment.

“Bigger every year”

These problems stole focus from what would otherwise have been a successful evening of community spirit.

The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Bulwell-born Councillor Jackie Morris, is a big supporter of the event.

“Its great to see the event grow and it gets bigger and better every year.”

Children from Springfield Primary, St Mary’s C of E Primary, Rufford Nursery and Primary, Snapewood Primary and Crabtree Farm Primary schools provided decorations for the Christmas tree and sang Christmas songs.

“I’m thankful to the schools and their headteachers for making this a great community event,” Cllr Morris added.

Freddie Kofi, a local musician, performed alongside the children and said that it was “great fun” and that the evening “had a good atmosphere.”

Some in the crowd enjoyed the evening, despite the problems.

“My children have had a good time, they went on the teacups and they got to meet the fire crew, so they’re pretty happy,” said Carol Marlowe, of Willow Hill Close, Bulwell.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue show of their latest equipment
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue show of their latest equipment

Attractions for the switch-on included Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue, who appeared alongside other stalls in the market square.

Children from the performing schools also acted as judges in the Christmas shopfront competition, which was won by Dudley’s Hairdressers.

The switch-on was concluded by a performance from The Salvation Army.