SATURDAY shoppers in Coleford may have been surprised to see a stall with Christmas goodies at the clock tower.

But the main event was going on above them as volunteers from the Coleford Christmas lights committee got on with preparing for this year’s festivities.

There were brackets to put up for 14 new trees and electric wiring to check.

It was not an accident that the work was happening at the warmest time of the year.

The jobs are usually sorted in October but the volunteers decided to swap rainproof jackets and thermals for shorts and sunglasses.

David Stevens, one of the volunteers, said: “We are here because we spend four or five weekends in October or November getting freezing cold and wet.

“When we took it down in January this year we thought why don’t we do it in shorts and T-shirts?

“We’re doing electrical work and putting up tree brackets and we thought we’d have the Christmas stall to try and raise a bit of awareness and money.

“It’s a bit nicer doing it in weather like this than in November.’’

The lights committee gets financial support from Coleford Town Council and local business but donations from the general public are an important source of income.

Fund-raising events include a car wash and cake sale at the Mount of Olives Church on September 10, a quiz night at Broadwell FC on October 13, a fashion show in Lydney on November 11 and bingo at Ellwood FC on November 16.

To find out more visit the Coleford Christmas lights page on Facebook.