• Southend BID

Let There Be Light

w/c 16th November 2020

According to ‘Time’ magazine, the first Christmas tree to have electric lights was back in 1882 and it consisted of just eight bulbs on one string of lights. Luckily for us technology has moved on since then and we’re now able to adorn our tree and high street with considerably more bulbs in Southend.


Last Saturday I had the strange experience of having these lights switched on without an event to accompany it or crowds gathered in celebration. Every year there would normally be performances, crafts, and music throughout the day leading up to throngs of happy visitors enjoying the countdown with a snow machine and songs to bob along to once the town came alight. This year there was not a bustling town with people singing along to their favourite Christmas tunes but we did still have the annual 6pm switch on of our giant tree, sparkling angels and twinkling icicle lights.


It may not have been the event that we all love but at Southend BID we were pleased to be able to bring back the lights again without any delay. The town is still open for essential shopping, click and collect, takeaways, and people heading out for a bit of exercise or off to work. We wanted the lights shining so that those needing to use the town right now could still get some festive cheer despite the restrictions. And for those without the need to come in during this period, the lights will be ready for everyone to enjoy when restrictions ease and present shopping, Christmas dinners and festive drinks are on the cards again.


Head to the Visit Southend social channels to see the lights or over to the website to check out the lists of ‘Click and Collect’, ‘Essential’ and other businesses that are operating around the town.

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Company number: 8346559, registered in England.

Registered address: 7 Nelson Street, Southend on Sea, Essex SS1 1EH

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