Monday, 02 August 2021

Christmas torchlight procession goes ahead

THE annual torchlit Christmas procession through Goring has been saved.

THE annual torchlit Christmas procession through Goring has been saved.

The event, which takes place every Christmas Eve, can now go ahead because enough villagers have agreed to marshal visitors on the night.

The organisers feared the parade had become so popular that it posed a health and safety risk and earlier this year announced it would have to be scrapped unless more volunteers and an experienced event manager came forward.

Now Ron Bridle, of Cleeve Road, Goring, has agreed to take charge and has recruited enough people for it to proceed safely.

Crowds will gather at the top of High Street at 6pm and proceed towards Streatley Meadows carrying flaming torches.

They will join forces with another large group from Streatley for carol singing and a bonfire at about 6.40pm.

Hundreds of people are expected to take part in the procession, which was first organised more than 25 years ago.

Mr Bridle, who was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to his community by the Queen last year, also jointly organises the Goring Gap’s entry to the Britain in Bloom competition with his wife Stephanie.

Keith Jackson, of the Morrell Room committee, said: “The sight of two rivers of lit torches converging on Streatley Meadows then heralding Christmas with carols is a wonderful start to the festivities. It is a tradition we would all like to retain.

“We are most grateful to Mr Bridle for taking on the organisation of the procession and for recruiting the numerous volunteers that are needed. Without the help of these marshals, the event simply could not take place.”

Torches will be sold for £4 at Goring Hardware in Red Cross Road and Westholme Stores in Wallingford Road from December 1.

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