Swanage Pier has been illuminated with 880 festive light bulbs as part of its Lighting up Lives event, where people are invited to celebrate someone special.
For a £10 donation, a light can be dedicated to an individual or group of people, as a show of appreciation, or simply to wish someone special a Happy Christmas. So far, 130 lights have been sponsored.
It’s the first time the Victorian pier has been illuminated for Christmas in this way and builds on the idea of the pier’s Christmas tree, where a bauble can be hung on the tree in memory of a loved one.
More than 1,400 feet of cabling and 880 coloured bulbs
Dedicate a light
The coloured lightbulbs are connected by nearly 1,400 feet of cabling and it took a team of six maintenance volunteers a day to install them.
Dolly Brown, Swanage Pier Trust fundraising officer, said:
“It was very blustery weather, but they did an amazing job. We kept them well supplied with doughnuts, tea and coffee for their efforts.”
Dolly Brown, Ben Adeney, Andy Lang and Amanda Bowden on the pier
Late afternoon on Thursday 9th December 2021, Andy Lang, pier master, signalled for the lights to be switched on. He said:
“We’ve been testing them every day to make sure they’re working and I’m pleased to see they all do.
“As the light changes it looks fantastic and I’m sure the people of Swanage will like them.”
Pier master Andy Lang
Amanda Bowden, volunteer and event coordinator, said:
“It’s the first year we’ve done this – lighting up the whole pier in this way – so it’s quite exciting.
“We’re hoping that having the pier lit up will draw people down and help us with our ongoing fundraising.”
A team of volunteers put the lights up
“Help extend the season”
Ben Adeney, Swanage Pier Trust CEO, said:
“It’s one of those things that’s growing in popularity because there are a few charities that are doing similar things.
“The aim is to develop the December offer for visitors to the pier and the town and help extend the season.”
People can sponsor a light bulb for £10 and make a dedication
Lighting up lives
Lights will be shining from Thursday 9th December 2021 until Monday 3rd January 2022.
Tributes will feature on the online Lighting Up Lives page, and sponsors receive an electronic copy of their certificate.
The pier’s Christmas tree is donated every year by a Swanage family in memory of their mum, Jean Holmans who regularly visited and loved Swanage Pier.
The family encourage others to hang a bauble on the tree in memory of their friends and relations
The Christmas tree near the gift shop
“A light in a person’s life”
Ben Adeney added:
“Following the challenges of the last 12 to 18 months, it is an ideal time to recognise or remember a person or people who have literally been a light in a person’s life.”
More about dedicating a light can be found on the Swanage Pier website
It’s the first year the pier has been lit up in this way