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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Olympic torchbearers light up Keswick for Christmas

Keswick's Olympic torchbearers were given a second moment to shine at the town’s Christmas lights switch on.

Keswick Xmas lights photo
Keswick’s lights

Nick Ball, John Merrit and Tessa Stockdale turned out last night in their relay tracksuits with their torches to join Mayor of Keswick Andrew Lysser to flick the switch and light up the town centre for the festive season.

They were joined by Mike Armfield, a St John Ambulance volunteer who carried fellow volunteer Katy Marsland’s torch as she could not attend.

Mr Lysser said: “I feel this year that we have lived a little bit of history.

“It’s been very special with the jubilee and the torchbearers. I think it’s a marvellous representation of the town.”

The event began by the cenotaph with the lighting of the Lake District Tree of Light. The beech tree is lit with more than 5,000 tiny white lights sponsored by the public in memory or a loved one or in celebration of a life event.

Before the tree was lit, Mr Lysser handed over a prize to Bassenthwaite Primary School pupil Max Pickering, who won a painting competition organised on behalf of the Rotary club by Keswick Pencil Museum.

The mayor, torchbearers and children from St Herbert’s, Borrowdale and Braithwaite schools then led a procession to Market Square, waving lights and glow sticks to replicate the light from the tree.

Donations of £10 or more can be made to the tree of light, which is supported by opera singer Lesley Garrett, at www.lakedistricttreeoflight.org.uk until January 5 when the Christmas lights are switched off.

Max’s winning painting, along with the more than 100 other competition entries, will be on display at the pencil museum until the same day.

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