In 2011 Grizedale were offered the opportunity of organising and redesigning Coniston's Christmas lights. The annual event had previously been run by a group of volunteers, with contributions from the villagers paying for the small light display. However enthusiasms were beginning to run low, with the volunteers no longer having adequate time to organise the lights, so the reins were offered to Grizedale.
Grizedale's attempt to reinvigorate and galvanise support for the Christmas light display began with a site visit to the inimitable Blackpool illuminations' warehouse; a vast building where all the weird and wonderful fittings are stored out of season. They have a seemingly endless stockpile of lights, with some of the highlights including hula girls, fibreglass cameras, bloodshot eyeballs, and Laurence Lewellyn Bowen's sickly wallpaper designs bizarrely rendered in flashing LEDs. Thankfully they were kind enough to loan us some of their LEDs, floods and a large peace on earth good, will to all tableau for the Coniston display.
The 2011 display met with wide acclaim from the villagers, and only a little apprehension about the slightly spooky green flood light on the trees in St Andrews' Church graveyard. The hope is to continue building on this success, and cement the display as an attractive annual event - one which the community can have pride in and eventually reclaim ownership and running of - with the possibility employing the newly formed Coniston Youth Group as design consultants.
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