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Hadleigh lights saved at eleventh hour

PUBLISHED: 11:45 30 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 March 2010

ORGANISERS behind the Hadleigh Christmas lights switch on breathed a sign of relief today after managing to save the night at the eleventh hour.

It had been not so much a case of pulling the plug on the annual family event - as having no plug to pull when with when with less than 24 hours to go before the big night an outside power supply had still not been fitted.

ORGANISERS behind the Hadleigh Christmas lights switch on breathed a sign of relief today after managing to save the night at the eleventh hour.

It had been not so much a case of pulling the plug on the annual family event - as having no plug to pull when with when with less than 24 hours to go before the big night an outside power supply had still not been fitted.

President of the town's Chamber of Commerce Martin Freeth said that a plan to use power points in the Market Place had been scuppered when it was discovered that the electricity supply had not been connected since Babergh District Council completed its £100,000 refurbishment of the square.

The Chamber of Commerce, who are organising the event with the Hadleigh Lions Club and the Town Council, were left with two temporary solutions - using a noisy generator, which they feared would drown out music at the event, or taking power from a private residence in the market place.

Both options would have seen illuminations burst into life - only to be switched off after a few hours later and remain dormant until a more permanent supply could be established, possibly not until after December 10.

"I've spent a good day and a half phoning around and I have finally got something sorted," said a delighted Mr Freeth.

Babergh District Council had organised for the power supply to be connected today but were unable to get a meter installed until much later.

With time rapidly running out Mr Freeth says he managed to find an electrician willing to come out at short notice and fit the necessary meter.

A spokesman for Babergh District Council said that the event had been put in jeopardy through circumstances beyond their control and that they had been anxious for the night to be a success.

They had offered organisers the use of a generator in a bid to find a temporary solution to the problem.

Mr Freeth said that he had first contacted the council four weeks ago warning them that the power points - which market traders use on their stalls - had not be connected following the refurbishment of the square.

"I am in total disbelief that after so many assurances they still couldn't deliver the goods," he said.

The Hadleigh Christmas lights switch on is set to start at 6pm tonight. There will be carol singing, silver band music and lots more.

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