Monday, 20 January 2020

Torchlight celebration shrunk

GORING’S annual torchlit Christmas celebration is to return in a smaller format.

At 6.30pm on Christmas Eve, residents will gather on Streatley Meadows to sing carols while holding flaming torches.

However, this will not be prefaced by the usual procession along Goring high street because organisers are still concerned about the safety risks.

The event was called off in 2017 because attendance had grown to thousands and there were fears about overcrowding or a fire breaking out.

It was revived last year and the organisers tried to keep numbers down by only publicising it through word of mouth. However, a large number of people still came.

The procession could be revived in future but this would depend on finding enough people to plan it in advance and marshal the crowds on the night.

The carol singing will start with a performance by a piper and singers will be accompanied by the Goring and Streatley Concert Band.

Torches are available from Goring Hardware, Westholme Stores and Inspiration gifts and cost £5 with the proceeds going towards the running costs and local charities.

They must not be lit until after arrival at the meadows.

A partial road closure will be in place on either side of Goring bridge from 6.45pm to 7.45pm.

The event has been running since at least the late Eighties and was facing the axe due to a shortage of volunteers in 2015. It was saved by villager Ron Bridle, who recruited extra help.

Anyone willing to help should email the committee at gstorchlight@gmail.com

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