Hundreds flocked to a Buckinghamshire High Street for a 'magical' Christmas lights switch-on event hosted by a local novelist who said he was 'hugely honoured' to lead the festive charge. 

With Christmas just one month away, it's officially the season to deck streets around the county out in festive lights, with ceremonies traditionally headed by a community countdown and a local celebratory waiting in the wings to flick the switch. 

One town in Buckinghamshire known to go the extra mile in its annual festivities is Marlow, which lived up to its reputation for delivering a spectacle at a Christmas lights switch-on on Thursday, November 23, an event one attendee described as 'brilliant'.

After descending en masse upon Marlow High Street on Thursday, crowds were treated to pop-up mulled wine stalls, fake snow and stilt walkers decked out in nutcracker and snow queen costumes, parading up and down the tightly packed walkway to the delight of the many children in attendance. 

Bucks Free Press:

Robert Thorogood, creator of the BBC programme 'Death in Paradise' and author of 'The Marlow Murder Club' book series, switched on the town's light display from the top of a double-decker bus stationed outside The Chequers pub at 6:30pm, following a flurry of 'snow' fall and a selection of classic Christmas tunes, courtesy of local radio station Marlow FM. 

The acclaimed writer thanked the town for the warm welcome he and his family had received upon moving to Marlow a decade ago, which he described as "a very special community and a very special place".

He said: "At the beginning of this year when I was asked to do this, I originally said no. I thought, 'We usually have a really famous person off the telly and I'm just a writer!'

"The thing is, though, I write this series of books called 'The Marlow Murder Club' and in the next book, coming out in January, I kill the Mayor of Marlow! So I'm not going to be invited to do this again - it's now or never."

Bucks Free Press:

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Robert described the series as "a love letter" to the town, a TV adaptation of which was filmed across Marlow this summer, including in the graveyard of All Saints Church, at Longridge Activity Centre and in the Town Council's office building ahead of airing on the Drama channel in 2024. 

An enjoyable evening was had by both young and old, with one family who moved to Marlow earlier this year sharing that it had been a "magical" experience for their one-year-old daughter who was "thrilled" by the falling snow.

A young man who lives just around the corner from the High Street agreed that it was a "brilliant" night, adding: "I've read Robert Thorogood's books and they're brilliant too, so it's been fantastic."

Bucks Free Press:

A woman who annually travels from Princes Risborough with her husband to see the lights being switched on said there was always a "lovely atmosphere" at the annual event, which she thought was "absolutely worth travelling for".

Mayor of Marlow David Brown, who assumed the post in May of this year, told the Free Press that although he had been "a little bit nervous" ahead of the event, it had turned out to be a "great evening".

He added: "It draws people in from everywhere, and you get so absorbed in the atmosphere. 

"It's lovely to see everyone having a good time, and all the smiles on their faces."