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Wycombe from A-Z: X is for Xmas Decorations
Many years ago Christmas was a magical time in Wycombe and the powers that be really went to town when it came to decorations.
The town centre decorations probably reached their peak in the halcyon days of the 1970's.
Back then the streets were decorated from Easton Street right up to the far end of Desborough Road and fully decorated Christmas trees were located in the Library Gardens, Frogmoor and at the end of White Hart Street.
Every lamp post would have illuminated figures such as snowmen, choir boys and candles and what's more these decorations were powered by full sized light bulbs which would give a modern day health and safety officer a fit.
Near to the festive season Father Christmas would arrive on a train from London and there would be a large procession down the High Street culminating at Murray's department store where he would take up residence until Christmas Eve.
Back then our town really celebrated the festive season. Sadly modern day celebrations are nowhere near as lavish.
Thanks to the blight of political correctness and spending cutbacks the 'festive decorations' (be careful not to say 'Christmas decorations' for fear of causing offence) in recent years have been awful affairs.
For the past few years the High Street has been blighted with some dreadful lights indeed the number of bulbs has declined year on year until last year there were only enough left to cover the short area from the junction of Corporation Street to the Library Gardens.
The lights were so far away from the Guild Hall that I wrote an article in the printed version of the Bucks Free Press saying that if standing beside the Guild Hall yours truly needed binoculars to see the lights.
In Desborough Road the modern street decorations are powered by newfangled LED bulbs which, in my opinion, are not as good at traditional filament bulbs.
Last year a Christmas tree was put up on Frogmoor and another in the Library gardens but the decorations on the latter tree were dire.
Years ago people would come to Wycombe just to see the Christmas decorations but in recent years the show was so bad it wasn't worth coming.
An unbiased observer would probably draw the conclusion that over the years the decline in the standard of festive decorations has matched the general decline in the town as a whole.
Every year the town has a special event, usually on a Thursday, when the lights are switched on.
For some reason the lights switch on always takes place in the late evening, last year it was 6.45pm, after the town centre workers have gone home.
The workers either have to hang around for nearly two hours or go home then return to see the switch on. Why on earth can't the lights be switched on earlier so everyone can see them?
When the lights have been switched on officially, despite the darkness of the winter evenings, they are not illuminated until long after 5pm meaning that only the drunken yobbos who frequent the town in the evening and those determined to seem them actually knew what they looked like on.
It's about time Wycombe pulled its socks up and put on a decent festive light display indeed as part of the show I would like to see a laser shone down the High Street from the Guild Hall to Easton Street.
How about putting some search lights on Frogmoor that shine in the sky so people can look out of the windows of their houses and see the festive lights in the sky?
To encourage Christmas shoppers to Wycombe town centre parking charges should be slashed after 2pm on two days a week from the beginning of November, say Wednesday and Thursday.
How are the local traders and businesses likely to survive unless the powers that be create the right atmosphere to encourage the shoppers to our town?
Aylesbury and Marlow can put on decent displays of Christmas lights so why can't Wycombe?
What do you think?
*Maybe you would like to suggest other suitable topics for letters of the alphabet? If you have any ideas on what you think the letter 'Y' should stand for just leave a comment and let me know.
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The perfect wife and mother, Rebecca runs a home, a bad temper and is working on her novel. She enjoys photography, playing the piano and likes almost anything that's out of fashion and uncool. She lives in Amersham with her husband and youngest child (aged ten). Her eldest, now 27, lives and works in Buckinghamshire.