A village will today be lit up for Christmas for the first time.
In what organisers claim to be a first for the village, festive lights are due to be switched on in Corbridge, Northumberland, this afternoon.
Those who have planned the festivities told last night how there had been a growing feeling in recent years that the village should have its own display, and of their hopes that it will become an annual event.
The lights have been organised by the Corbridge Traders group, alongside Corbridge Parish Council.
The traders came up with the idea of giving the village its first display and approached the parish council, which agreed to help.
Traders chairman Joyce Anderson said: “It was just something we had all talked about for a few years now.
“We have always wanted some lights in Corbridge and it is just getting all the ducks in a row to do it really.” Councillors agreed to look after the bureaucracy of organising the display.
A number of traders have paid to put lights up outside their premises with the parish having offered to match the costs involved.
Residents and friends of Corbridge have also donated, including Salem International of Prudhoe and the Blue Bell Pool teams.
Mrs Anderson said: “Everybody has stepped in so it has made it less of an issue because a lot of people have helped which is good.”
Lights have also been arranged in the trees at St Andrew’s churchyard. All will be switched on today by Mrs Anderson, whose jewellery shop, on Hill Street, will be among those lit up, at 4pm.
She said: “We did not want to make a huge fuss over it because it is a modest start but we still think it is worth a bit of recognition.
“It is just trying to make the whole village look attractive, really.”
Organisers are hoping the event will return in future years.
“Every year we will add to it. It is a modest beginning if you start with something and hopefully people will like what we have done this year and we can raise more money and we can add to them year on year.”
Meanwhile, the Duchess of Northumberland switched on the Christmas lights in her home town of Alnwick last night.
The duchess flicked the switch in the community’s Market Place after entertainment, which included the decorating of the tree, rides, music and carol singers.
Santa Claus visited the market place after the switch-on.
Morpeth was one of the first towns this year to flick the switch of their Christmas lights.
The town’ centre and Sanderson Arcade were lit-up on November 16.