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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:-  28 November 2014

As you might already know, we are developing new services so to help us we are moved the day that our editions are released have temporarily on.  For a few weeks, all editions have been moving to Friday release, but deadline for news item submission will remain the same.

Southport Christmas Lights 2014
Photographs by Patrick Trollope.

THE Christmas Lights are now on, following a fantastic day and evening of entertainment, starting off Southport's Christmas build up. It is one of the most magical times of year and many businesses on the famous Lord Street and throughout the Town Centre are hoping it will also be a good one for trade. The Switch On took place on Saturday, 22 November 2014, but it nearly didn't happen, due to the increased costs, thanks to ever increasing demands associated with the likes of health and safety regulations, and Sefton Council facing more cuts, but the Switch On was saved. This year, the Southport BID Company, who have taken over the funding of the Lights; the town now has over 500,000 brand new lights, ensuring the Town will sparkle once again. "Thankfully the magic of Christmas has been saved and we now hope people will follow." one of the businesses told us on Lord Street. Another business owner added:- "We have been losing businesses all over the place, so the loss of the lights for Christmas would have been a death blow for the Town. We need the cheer that the lights bring to the Town, on dark evenings and nights. Also the festive activities that will be taking place, as Christmas approaches, should bring much needed customers in to the Town Centre." The Light Switch on, as you can see from our photos in this edition and also on the videos we uploaded on our Facebook Page, attracted a large crowd, that was, at first, slow to build, but as it got darker more and more people flocked into the Town Centre to see the famous faces press the plunger! As the event did not have a parade, this year's Switch on Stage included a massive TV screen, which was based on Lord Street, allowing far more people to see the acts performing. Other attractions included 3 Wise Men on real camels, dance acts, side show entertainers and a few Christmas stalls. In The Atkinson, the Southport String Ensemble performed live in the foyer. But it was Heart FM, on the Main stage, which got the most attention, hosted by Joel Ross from Heart North West and Liz McClarnon, former Atomic Kitten. The 2 highlight acts on the main stage were the world famous group, The Drifters, who gave a fantastic selection of Christmas numbers, one of them can be seen on our Facebook Page. The other was the band, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, who got the Town dancing... The other acts, who performed on the main stage were, Myth of Unity, The Dice Men, Baby Ballet, King and Scholes, Voice Plus, Street Beatz, Rock Choir, Barbieshop.

To see our photographic coverage of this event, please click on  this LINK now!

These are just a few comments about the event that we have received so far...

Sharon Smith commented to us that:- "Unfortunately I missed out because I was working in Boots, on Chapel Street. However the atmosphere was excellent. Thank you to the band for coming to store. I am now in the mood for Christmas. Xx"

Abi Yaffe commented:- "Yes - the drifters were fantastic! The lights are beautiful."

Robert Coppell:- "Actually very good this year. So that means bigger and even better next year"

Michelle Suzanne:- "Fantastic this year and well done to everyone involved."

Christine Barrett said:- "Enjoyed this year’s switch on, brilliant."

The most important part of the night was the Switch On, and pushing the plunger was Coronation Street stars Ryan Thomas(Jason Grimshaw) and Katie McGlynn (Sinead Tinker), plus former Corrie favourite Ken Morley (King Bumble) and Kay Purcell (Carabosse) from the Southport Theatre Panto, Sleeping Beauty. But no Christmas Switch on could be without Father Christmas and the Mayor and Mayoress of Sefton.

So far not all were impressed though as Degs Hesketh added:- "I walked down Lord Street at 5pm today, apart from the tree there were more lights on the trees in the summer? What’s happened to the lights? Or is the tree it? Or are there technical problems as was expecting some of the trees along the road lit. Nice tree though..."

So have the new lights put you in the mood for some retail therapy?

Will it get you out to have a bite to eat or some refreshments in Southport’s fantastic coffee shops and restaurants?

Will you go to the Christmas market that will be running over 6 December to 21 December 2014, or go to one of the Town’s many night clubs, or pubs for your Christmas party?

Let us know if you think it is Southport’s time to sparkle this festive season by emailing:-, with your views and thoughts of the 'Christmas Lights Switch On' and the planned festive delights today!

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Formby Christmas Lights Are On!
Click on here to see our coverage of the Formby Christmas Light Switch On Event 2014
Click on to find out all about this news item...
Warning over lost medication in Bootle
Celebrating rock & roll's 60th anniversary in Formby
Southport Police reunite New Zearland family with long lost war medals
Free art work on the streets of Walton
Parents and children are invited to splash around in Southport
This Christmas give blood - the gift only you can give in Merseyside
PEEL has been published!
Mayor backs festive gift campaign
Independent report outlines benefits of regenerated Walton Hall Park
Did you see Liverpool’s Nativity Procession? Click on here to find out what this photograph is all about!      Photography by Jon Challicom  Posed by a mode l © 2014 NSPCC
Divorce hurting UK workplaces
Merseyside Police force's 2 weeks firearms surrender is a success!
Local Wirral disability charity secures over £200,000 funding from the Big Lottery
Double whammy cycle win for Liverpool Women’s Hospital as they aim to fight obesity
A brilliant nightly FREE Christmas light projection show in Liverpool
Liverpool prepares for the arrival of the Coca-Cola Christmas truck
Edward Scissorhands Ballet is heading to Liverpool in January 2015
"Saturday Night Fever" heads to Liverpool Empire
Cancer centre receives second fewest complaints nationally in NHS
Design success for City
National Award for Heart and Chest Specialists
Almost 24,500 2 year olds accessing free childcare
Liverpool’s car club scheme continues to grow
Police widen their appeal to trace Good Samaritans who helped sexual assault victim
Crosby musician Robert Vincent supports - James Blunt
Green targets smashed by Birkenhead shopping centre
Karen Potter Craven Minor JFL
£2.3 million to improve Merseyside’s local services
Review:- "English National Ballet - Swan Lake"
Southport Christmas Lights 2014 - Photographs
North West told by Police to:- "be prepared to play their part in keeping the country safe"
As winter approaches, motorists fear new drivers more than rain, snow and ice
Know your overseas shopping limits this Christmas
Customs raid illegal fuel operations
Liverpool carollers to raise the roof for epilepsy at charity carol service
Review:- "Paul Chowdhry's Final Night of 80 Night Tour"
Roadshow underway to remind people:- "If it's on show, it'll go!"
Night Time Catering Job Advert - MJ’s Restaurant - Formby
Freedom of Liverpool for War Widows Association
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Click on here to find out what this photograph is all about!      Photography by Jon Challicom  Posed by a mode l © 2014 NSPCC
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B.O.A. 70th Anniversary DVD

Click on to buy now...THE video footage we have taken at the 70th BOA events this year in Liverpool has now been fully edited is available to buy, on a DVD, from our Online Shop, on Mersey Reporter very soon.  For each DVD sold, £3.00 will go to the Liverpool's Lord Mayor's Charity Appeal. (Registered Charity No. 229539)  At this stage we can only do UK postage options, but if you are outside the UK, you can still order copies, but only via emailing our newsroom at:- with your FULL address and we will get back to you with a postage cost and a payment link, should you wish to continue.

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