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Xmas Lights

From Gary Boocock

Saturday, 12 December 2015

What as happened to the lights on Market Street? No multi coloured lights in the shape of santa or rudolph. Just some boring lights saying 'Love and Respect. Its Xmas. They should say 'Merry Xmas'. Bring back the old ones.

From Tim M

Saturday, 12 December 2015

We think they are lovely.

From Jan Scott Nelson

Sunday, 13 December 2015

I think the lights are looking great this year. The tree is looking better than it has for years - though I still miss the lights that used to be on the corner of the Square, just up from the phone box.

Every year it strikes me that it would be lovely if they could all be on during the daytime over the weekends before Christmas, when we have lots of visitors to the town. I'm guessing that the reason they're not is to do with budgetary considerations, but it does always seem a shame that they're only on in the evenings.

From Ian M

Sunday, 13 December 2015

I agree totally with Gary. The lights appear to be have been hijacked to spread a message for an organisation! This is utterly wrong. Christmas is a religious festival not an opportunity to make a point in festive street lights. What next? Lights sponsored by …

There is a simple reason why the lights shouldn't be on during the day, it's light and they wouldn't be noticed

From Tim B

Sunday, 13 December 2015

I reckon Love and Respect is a perfectly suitable message for Christmas, and the rest of the year.

From Graham Barker

Sunday, 13 December 2015

I too agree with Gary. 'Love and respect' just doesn't cut it as a Christmas message, and I speak as a devout heathen. All it says to me is 'We're too chicken to use the word Christmas'.

From Jan Scott Nelson

Monday, 14 December 2015

The lights would be seen just fine during the day, as they are in many towns around the country. But it's not a big deal as clearly a decision has been made for them to be nighttime only.

Have a very happy Christmas, everyone :)

From Julie C

Monday, 14 December 2015

The big white bow is the symbol of White Ribbon which campaigns against violence towards women and girls. Domestic Violence is especially a problem at Xmas, perhaps encouraged by too much alcohol. 'Love and Respect' seem just the things to support at Xmas. White Ribbon is organised by men, and aimed at men. It encourages them to pledge not to be violent, or support and condone violence. A loving and respectful holiday season to all of you.

From Anne H

Monday, 14 December 2015

Julie has just proved the point made by Gary and Ian above! Until she mentioned the white bow, I thought 'love and respect' was just a faith-neutral way of delivering a message that is broadly appropriate to Christmas.

As it is the specific message of the White Ribbon charity, then I can see why it might appear as if the Christmas lights have been hijacked by White Ribbon in order to spread their message.

Has this charity been chosen (by the Business Association? or the mayor? or HB partnership?) for a particular reason, and were other charities considered?

I support White Ribbon, but I also support child poverty charities, Overgate Hospice, Shelter and many others. It's impossible to say that one charity is more worthy than another.

From Kez Armitage

Monday, 14 December 2015

I also agree with Gary. The lights in Hebden should celebrate Christmas, and shouldn't simply be given over to other causes, however worthy they might be.

I'd be interested to know who made the decision for the current White Ribbon lights? Who was consulted? Was sponsorship involved? Did money change hands? Is the theme of the 'Christmas' lights open to the highest bidder? No, I'm not being 'tongue-in-cheek' here, there are serious issues involved. If a major supermarket came along and said 'We'll pay for your lights, as long as they say, somewhere, 'A Merry Christmas From (Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Aldi, Lidl, ASDA et al)', would that be acceptable to Calderdale or Hebden Royd? Yes, probably, in these cash-strapped times.

Like Graham, I've no religious axe to grind here. But we do seem to be desperately trying to deny our roots, our tradition, and our culture in the name of just causes. Let those causes choose other dates to put up their pretty lights. The Christmas message is so so much more than the awfully anodyne 'Love and Respect' lights. Let's keep Christmas as we've always known it and loved it.

From Zilla Brown

Monday, 14 December 2015

May I first present my credentials and say that I have personal knowledge of domestic violence. Even so, or perhaps because of this, I do not enjoy seeing the White Ribbon Campaign lights plastered across the street in Hebden.

The well meaning intentions of organisation may make the members who support it feel better but won't ever prevent such things happening in real life because the (mainly) men who do such things don't subscribe to those values and are part of the dark side of life. They will never be influenced by that message so one wonders what is the point other than to raise the self esteem of White Ribbon Campaign members? There are better and more discreet ways to help the victims of domestic violence, promoting one's own self worth isn't in my view one of them.

I would far rather see some happy Christmas or seasonal message, in other words festive lights that would raise ones spirits not reminders that depress them.

From Allen Keep

Monday, 14 December 2015

Isn't a high-jacking where you take something illegally, often with violence, and then make demands for it's return or people will die?

I despair sometimes, I really do. Who can possibly object to an illuminated message that suggests, at Christmas, that we love and respect each other and who can be offended by a symbol suggesting male violence towards women is wrong. But then I suppose it's political correctness gone mad?

From Gary W

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Living on Market St, the bland 'Love & Respect' message is literally a few feet away from my living room window, except the writing appears backwards! All the other towns in Calderdale appear to have a different approach to Hebden Bridge: ie colourful xmas themed lights to brighten up the grim mid winter nights. I also agree with Gary. Christmas lights should be about erm Christmas, and not about self promoting Charities (however well respected/ well meaning).

From Chris Green

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

I am posting this to inform rather than spark more contributions.

According to the Police, the Xmas period is one of the most dangerous times of the year for Domestic Abuse. November 25th, when the lights were also on display is the United Nations Day to Eradicate Violence against Women.

The lights were designed for us by Bradford Festive Lights, and White Ribbon Campaign approached Hebden Royd Town Council with the design for the lights. Love and Respect is not a specific White Ribbon Campaign slogan, but rather a sentiment which fitted our message and we felt was appropriate for the time of year.

I was told by someone at the After Alice photo exhibition last Saturday that he knew 20 people who had changed their Facebook profile to include a photo of the Love and Respect lights, and we have had other positive feedback. Until I saw the Discussion Forum thread I hadn't had any negative feedback.

From Andy M

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas is a religious festival? I thought it was all about shopping.