For the last few years Chiswick High Road has been one of the few main thoroughfares in London without any Christmas lights.

According to Hugh Brendon of the local traders' association the main reason is cost.

Hugh explained that the provision of Christmas lights was prohibitively expensive for local independent traders. Putting lights on Turnham Green Terrace alone would have cost close to £10,000. Hounslow Council doesn't pay for lights even in Hounslow Town Centre so the cost has to be born by local traders.


Santa will be appearing on Turnham Green Terrace lights or no lights

Hugh Brendon of Chiswick Traders said: "We hope the late night shopping evening with carols made up a little bit for all those people who are disappointed about the lack of Christmas lights in Chiswick. Turnham Green Terrace may not look festive but it certainly did sound festive!"

The lights in Hounslow town centre are funded mainly by local retailers with a donation from their local area committee.

Hugh's fund raising efforts this year have been concentrated on the Hogarth Statue appeal and he will be retiring as Secretary of the Chiswick Trader Association in the near future. Also stepping down is Mike Ormrod of Ormrod Electrics, the wholesale supplier of lighting goods on the High Road, who was the acting Chairman.

The Association is still looking for two local business people to fill these roles. The ideal person would be a retired Chiswick resident who has at one time held a very senior position in business. The decline in number of locally owned stores has made it difficult to find replacements with many nationally owned chains reluctant to let their managers spend time on community matters.

Hugh said: "This year the attention of the CTA was on the Hogarth Statue but hopefully next year the new committee may have the time and the support to plan for Christmas lights. Local businesses who feel they are part of the community should join and seek to play an active role."

Many local residents through the forum have expressed the view that the proliferation of nationally owned chain stores and coffee and mobile phone outlets have led to a decline in civic mindedness amongst many local retailers and hence the lack of Christmas lights.

December 12, 2001

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