Festive event saved from closure

Hassocks Christmas lights switch on 29-11-13. Pic Steve Robards ENGSUS00120131129212713
Hassocks Christmas lights switch on 29-11-13. Pic Steve Robards ENGSUS00120131129212713

One of the best annual events in Hassocks has been saved from closure at the eleventh hour thanks to a major roadworks delay.

The Light Up Hassocks committee revealed this week that the popular family Christmas lights event would not be able to take place this year, due to planned roadworks causing a diversion through Hassocks village centre.

But just days after the announcement, the county council informed the committee it would defer the roadworks so the event could take place.

On hearing the news, committee member Paul Simpson said the committee would need to work hard to ‘de-cancel’ the event. He said: “The committee has spent the last few days cancelling the event, and all of the infrastructure surrounding it.

“We are now doing our best to de-cancel as much as possible. We are hoping to hold the Procession and a Light Up Hassocks event on November 27, and will confirm details once we have them.

“We would like to thank everyone who has helped bring this about, and for the support for LUH from the community.”

The news was greeted with jubilation from the community on Facebook.

Nix Freestone said: “This is brilliant news. It is definitely one if the highlights of the year and the kids enjoy it so much!”

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “The road closure for New Road is being deferred to the new year so we can accommodate the closure of the High Street for the Light Up Hassocks parade.

“This is to repair a failed culvert. We were only made aware last week of the wish to close High Street. Fortunately, we have been able to change things around to allow the event to happen.

“We always strive to meet the needs of the local community when works to the infrastructure are required and we have been able to do that in this case.

“However, it must be said that requests for road space at short notice are often met with disappointment.”

This year’s fund raising Light Up Hassocks calendar, with photographs taken by Matt Freestone and Ben Langhorne, is now on sale at shops around the village, as well as Downlands School reception, Downsview Deli, Proper Coffee, Station Garage and The Thatched Inn.

To help the committee email lightuphassocks@gmail.com