02:15PM, Friday 29 November 2019
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Town Hall last Saturday, despite persistent rain, to witness the annual Christmas lights switch-on and fireworks display.
In spite of the wet weather, there was an excited buzz in the town centre as darkness fell.
Children enjoyed Traylen’s funfair rides and there was live music in St Ives Road from The New Maidenhead Choir and The Bottle Kids.
There were also stalls to browse in the Town Hall, and street food stalls.
The switch-on, sponsored by the Louis Baylis Trust and the Shanly Group, took place at 6.10pm to coincide with half-time of the televised Maidenhead United match against Woking at York Road.
As it drew closer, the live music was replaced by characters from four of the Royal Borough’s Christmas pantomimes.
It was seven-year-old Cora Taylor, the winner of a Norden Farm Christmas drawing competition, who pushed the plunger.
During a 10-second countdown, the gaze of the crowd was fixed on the roof of the Town Hall where the Shellscape Pyrotechnics display was set to launch.
A Christmas tree lit up the darkness, covered in fairy lights, and a riot of colourful, sparkling fireworks exploded to the delight of the crowd.
A five-minute display ensued, to a soundtrack of Christmas songs and ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the crowd.
Rachel Johnson, from Maidenhead, who attended the switch-on for the first time with her sons Henry, three, William, one, and friend Laura Scawn, said: “We’ve had a great time.
“It’s been a great way to entertain the kids even though it’s been a rainy afternoon and a nice way to start Christmas too.
“It would have been more fun if hadn’t been raining but we’ve still had a fan-tastic time.”
Laura, who comes to the fireworks every year, said they were always good – but there were some particularly good ones on Saturday.
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