Friday 26 November 2010 18:30 - 19:00 Switching on of Christmas Lights in Cobham High Street
In 2008 Cobham was dark - there were no Christmas lights nor festivities in the streets of Cobham so Cliff decided to bring some Christmas cheer in the form of Elmbridge Choir singing some Christmassy music at the Farmers' Market and Holly Hedge. It must have had the desired effect as in 2009 we were pleased to see the Christmas lights twinkling in the High Street and we were invited to sing again. And now, in 2010, they can't do without us - we were invited to bring some more Christmas cheer at the switching on of this year's Christmas lights.....
About 50 Elmbridge Mixed Choir members braved the sub-zero temperatures and were frozen to our now usual spot outside Carphone Warehouse. It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas as there was a pretty Christmas tree glistening once again.
This year the shops were open late with toys in every store. Our audience consisted of the young and the old and applauded after our first song but there were more carols that we would sing right within our hearts. Children were filled with delight at the thought of seeing Santa Claus, the funfare rides and the lights - this was what the people of Cobham wanted - to see everywhere, everywhere Christmas tonight.
They had come to celebrate Christmas with arms open wide and were eagerly awaiting the switching on of the lights to come shining through the darkest night. I whispered to my neighbour - can you feel your fingers and toes, have you got on your thermal clothes! Cliff looked across and said - Sing, sing, fill up the night with song! And so we did and sweet music filled the sky. Then I had a problem! I couldn't turn over the pages of my music with my gloves on so I had to mime until it came to "Alleluia, shout for joy" as I knew that bit without music! What more could I do!
I think there were quite a few young families around as the sound of children's laughter filled the air but not all were laughing as one in its buggy was going Wah and the mum said wont you please bring my baby to me-e-e - I just want to see my baby! Her other child said maybe all you want is your baby but I want a hippopotamus, no babies, no crocodiles, no rhinoceroses, only a hippopotamus will do!
Meanwhile, nearby, the band in the parade was tuning up - pa rum pum pum pum - so that they could play their best for us. How can it be that they can play and march at the same time - how can it be!?
We had now come to our last song and Cliff turned to the audience and said - now it's your turn, let all the people sing when I tell you to join in - and they did - alleluia.
Then followed a hasty derig of PA, lights and sound, a quick look at the parade and the lights and then those who were lucky enough to find a seat in Strada thawed out there whilst others warmed up with hot roast chestnuts, candy floss and burgers from the nearby stalls.
We had once again done our bit for Cobham and at least it didn't rain this year!
We Sang: It's Beginning To Look Like Christmas; Everywhere Christmas Tonight; Can You Hear The Christmas Bells; Calypso Lullaby; All I Want For Christmas Is You; I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas; The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth; Hark The Herald Angels Sing