FESTIVE joy is coming to Malmesbury next week when the whole town will light up in a display of community goodwill.

Windows and gardens across town have been decorated and will be switched on at the same time on Tuesday - December 1 - to bring people together.

Malmesbury & Villages Light Up For Christmas has been organised by former mayor Julie Exton, who has had a tough year.

“I had a heart attack and I had to stop being mayor which has been a tough adjustment and I’ve been battling with depression which hasn’t been improved by Covid and lockdown,” she said.

“So in October, I thought, wouldn’t it be good to put a few lights up to bring a little bit of joy to people, especially those who are suffering with depression or have had a bad year.

“We created polls and ideas on the Facebook page in October for community input and since then it has really taken off and everyone thinks it’s a really good idea.

“Just put something up, it can be as much or as little as you want and are able to afford.

“Children’s drawings put up in the window is a simple but effective alternative.

“There is so much doom and gloom around at the moment so we all need something to redirect our minds and bring a little light into people’s lives.

“So, even when the country is in such a bad state and everyone is locked down, you can still go for a walk and see the lights.”

The light up has been arranged through the Make Malmesbury Even Better Facebook page by and for the community.

The lights will be switched on at 6pm on Tuesday and families can then follow a trail using a paper or online map.

Paper maps will be available across the town and from the Co-op and there will be an interactive map available online.

It’s hoped that the lights will remain up until January 1.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Julie’s son Chris has built a reindeer and sleigh for children to sit in and have their picture taken.

This can be seen above, with her husband Phillip, who usually stands in as Father Christmas during the town’s late night shopping, which will not occur this year.

She is reminding participants to be sensible and comply with social distancing measures at all times.

To get the map go to shorturl.at/fqDT2