Published Friday 18 November 2022 at 15:28
Darwen’s landmark Tower is set to be lit this weekend as part of the town’s ever-popular Christmas lights switch on event.
For the first time, when the switch is pressed on the town centre’s stunning festive lights on Saturday, not only will the Market Hall be lit, but the Tower will too… with the help of a bit of Christmas magic!
And, it’s all thanks to Darwen-based LCR Rental.
When they were contacted by event organisers, Crafty Vintage, to see if they could help light the stage, they decided to go one better and try to light the Tower too – using a projection from the town centre.
As a show of goodwill, the firm, which has worked with an enviable list of A-listers – everyone from Ed Sheeran to Britney Spears, Little Mix, Rod Stewart and more – has also offered their time and equipment for free of charge – using it as a learning exercise for their apprentices.
Their Operations Manager, Lee Farrell, said:
When we were asked to support the event, we had a whimsical idea to try and light Darwen Tower too.
We didn’t even know whether it’d be possible, but we’ve tried it from our base in Commercial Road and it worked!
We really wanted to be able to give something back to the town and do something special for the lights switch on – it’ll be the first time we’ve lit the Tower from the Market Square and our apprentices are leading on it which is a fantastic experience for them too.
Award-winning LCR travel the world providing the lighting and rigging for huge events, with staff currently supporting Ed Sheeran on his US tour.
They originally launched in Darwen five years ago – investing heavily in cutting edge technology, their staff and apprentices – employing almost 30 people now.
On Saturday, the apprentices, who all live locally, will use a projection lamp to light the Tower from the town centre. It’ll bathe the front of the landmark in white until the end of the event.
Thanking them for their efforts, Councillor Quesir Mahmood, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Growth and Regeneration said:
We are proud to have LCR based in our borough – what they have achieved in such a short time is incredible.
What a fantastic show of Christmas spirit to offer their time and equipment to help support the light switch on event – lighting the Tower will add even more Christmas magic to the event.
We all know just how iconic the Tower is and how much-loved it is by residents so to have it lit following the completion of the restoration works will be fantastic.
Chart toppers D:Ream will headline a packed line-up of events in the town centre on Saturday for the Christmas lights event.
Festive markets will run right from 10am with gifts galore, festive food, hot chocolate, mulled wine and Christmas cocktails.
From 2pm, there’ll be live performances on stage by Lancashire Dance Academy and Darwen School of Music.
The ‘Storytelling with Santa’ sessions in Darwen Market have already proven so popular that the free tickets were a ‘sell-out.’
Families can also enjoy an ‘Elves and the Toy Maker’ ice show before the 90s hit makers take to the stage ahead of the big countdown to turning on the lights.
Councillor Mahmood added:
There’s so much planned for Saturday – lots of free, festive fun to be enjoyed by all.
It’s part of our busy programme of events each Saturday in Darwen in the run up to Christmas.
Be sure to head out and enjoy what there is to offer with your family and friends while supporting our local businesses and getting into the Christmas spirit.
You can read the full rundown of what’s planned at: www.darwentowncentre.co.uk
Be sure to also follow Darwen Market and Darwen Town Centre on Facebook for all the latest updates.
The £300,000 restoration of the Tower, which was built to celebrate Darrener’s rights to roam the moors and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, was funded by Darwen Town Deal, Darwen Rotary and Blackburn with Darwen Council.
As part of the Darwen Town Deal, £3m could be invested to improve and create new links and pathways from the town centre, up and across the moors, including to the Tower over the next four years.