Christmas 2022 Results

Christmas Switch On

2022 marked the return of the traditional Christmas light switch on events across many towns in the UK having been cancelled or curtailed for the last 2 years due to the pandemic. Christmas light switch on events are not just about the physical light displays being activated, the events bring communities together to celebrate Christmas time whilst supporting local businesses by increasing footfall and reminding them of the wealth of local retailers and hospitality offered on their doorstep.

Twickenham lights switch on event was held on 20th November and included a stage, run by Riverside Radio with local music and school performances, a Christmas market, fairground rides, face painting and of course lighting up the high street and Christmas trees. The event was a huge success with over 500 people watching the main switch on moment and hundreds more joining in throughout the evening. The lights were officially turned on by the Mayor of Richmond Cllr Julia Cambridge and Harlequins stars Louis Lynagh and Jack Kenningham.

Place Informatics a UK leader in visitor behaviour insights and footfall for town centres, analysed the Christmas lights switch on activity across the capital and we are pleased to report that Twickenham was ranked the 3rd best performing town in London!

Their research shows an 18.2% increase in visitor activity on the Christmas Lights switch-on day in Twickenham*. This compares to an average growth of 12.6% across London for their Christmas switch on event days.

Place Informatics reported “The top three town centres had similarities in their event preparation. BID organisations, local businesses and community groups worked together to enjoy mulled wine, facepainting, markets, carols and live music.”

* this is based on GPS data from phones in the town centre, as compared to the average activity (for the same day of the week in October and November 2022) providing an indication of growth in visitors.

Santa’s Grotto 

The Switch on event was followed by Santa’s Grotto which was on Twickenham Green from 21st – 24th November between 3pm to 6pm. Despite the rain and cold weather, over 600 children visited with Santa and received an early Christmas gift. Many families commented on how fantastic it was to have such a community focused event open to all local children. The gifts that were left over at the end were donated to The Extra Mile charity who distributed them to local children who are in need who may not have otherwise received gifts.

In search of Twickmas Christmas Trail

Discover Twickenham BID organized a Christmas trail to keep families busy over the festive period. The trail ran from 12th – 24th December with 10 Christmas Stockings hiding in shop windows around town. Almost 100 families participated in the 0.8 mile trail which took children on a trip around Twickenham Town BID area before finishing at Sweet Memories on Church Street where they could collect their prize.

Carla Knox, the owner of Sweet Memories on Church Street where children collected their prize said “The Christmas trail was most definitely a great success, and they had plenty of excited children (and parents) through our door collecting their prizes. Everyone said it was a great idea and that they looked forward to participating in future trails!”

This fantastic photo and review was posted by one visitor on social media:

On the 11th December Discover Twickenham also supported the Church Street Christmas Shopping Market and the Ukrainian Christmas Concert.
Both events were a great success despite the very cold and snowy conditions. Church street traders association brought the popular street alive with a variety of stalls and entertainment with the BID adding children’s rides, Punch & Judy and extra market stalls.

The Ukrainian Social Club joined in with the market and sang carols during the day around town, they then had a Ukrainian Christmas Concert in St Mary’s Church in the evening. The concert sold out with over 250 attendees who enjoyed performances by Maryana Bodnar a soloist at the National Operetta of Ukraine, Richmond’s own Cantanti Camerati chamber choir, along with several other Ukrainian performers. One attendee said “Fantastic evening. Feel privileged to have been able to attend”.

All proceeds went to support the ongoing Prosperity campaign for humanitarian aid for Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees in our local community.