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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Christmas lights delay as animals taken to wrong Brampton

Three camels and a reindeer were the main attractions at Brampton Christmas lights switch-on.

Brampton lights photo
Mary and Joseph, Ellie Blenkinsop and Sol Armstrong

But the big event yesterday was delayed after a truck bringing the camels from Warwickshire went to the wrong Brampton.

Instead of following a star to ‘Bethlehem’ – otherwise known as Brampton near Carlisle – the driver followed a satnav to Brampton near Appleby.

The camels arrived eventually, however, and six-year-old Evan Reynolds turned on the lights at the Moot Hall in front of 1,000 spectators.

Brampton parish council organised an afternoon of fun featuring children’s entertainer Cheeky Charlie, singer Sophie Winter, performers from StagedRight Productions, Brampton Primary School Choir and Brampton Silver Band.

The climax was a parade through the town featuring the camels – carrying three wise women – led by Santa’s sleigh pulled by a reindeer.

Allison Riddell, clerk to the parish council, said: “It takes a few months of planning. We have an events committee that meet every month and work very hard.

“We like people to come and visit Brampton and shop and to put something on for the people of Brampton. The kids love it.”

Some of the spectators had made a special trip from Carlisle.

Jill Carruthers, 33, of Knowe Park Avenue, Stanwix, brought daughter Lucy, eight, son George, aged four, and her 13-year-old nephew Jack.

She said: “We didn’t go to the Carlisle lights’ switch-on because it’s too busy. I like Brampton because it’s small scale and really quaint.

“I drive through at Christmas just to see the lights. The children have been to the fairground and, as a bonus, Lucy’s favourite gift shop was open.”

Evan, a pupil at Brampton Primary School, was chosen to perform the switch-on after winning a competition to design a Christmas magazine cover.

His mum, Laura Armstrong, said: “He was really excited to find out he was doing it.

“Last year he was in the crowd watching and we never thought that this year it would be him doing it.”

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