Christmas Light Switch-on: A Photo Diary

This year, the university put on an extra special event for the turning on of the Christmas lights around campus. With a Christmas market providing free mulled wine, cider and […]

This year, the university put on an extra special event for the turning on of the Christmas lights around campus. With a Christmas market providing free mulled wine, cider and mince pies, incorporating the Bridge Bar, The Stags, Concourse, Intercourse and the Students’ Union.

The lights on the 'intercourse'

So we are queuing for tokens, staring at a big arch with lights and discussing uni’s award winning Blackout campaign. Still, it’s cold. Heard some idiot say “what have health and safety got against fires anyway?” I guess he wanted to start one. When it opened, we proceeded to push through something that reminded me of the bar queue at Sobar on Tuesdays, and a cheeky pull of my friend’s classic ‘Jenna Marbles Face’ moved us from 300th in the queue to 1st in two minutes to collect our tokens from the usual cheery Cube promo staff.

The Jenna "get out of my way" Marbles face

We were welcomed into a good atmosphere, rather chilled considering most of the people I saw probably have essays due in tomorrow. It is also worth noting the unusual amount of children….a bad idea at a student event that includes free booze. Many were gutted about the lack of ferris wheel, but when inevitable reports of it crashing on the M3 on the way down arise, we’ll just have to wait until Freshers Ball.

A choir singing classic Christmas songs and bubble snow all served to add to the Christmas spirit. Next, we wandered over to the Doughnut stall. 5 FOR £3, phenomenal temperature, sugar sprinkling and bag all thrown in. Great deal, shame about the customer service. Think they picked the seller up from the steps opposite Costa in Portswood.

Me and my doughnuts! YUM

Onto getting our mulled wine and mince pie with our special plastic silver tokens. Another ‘Sobar-like’ queue here. Mince pies were of the Tesco value variety. Mulled wine was too hot and after the previous night’s festivities, I would have preferred it if it was just tea. But nevertheless, it was a nice touch and free!

Our attempt at a drink in Stags was aborted as it was packed! Also, noticed that the queue for the Bridge snaked all the way to the front of building 42! Everyone was happy to queue for the delights they were due to receive. Don’t know how the staff coped: their first busy night of the year. We popped into the Union to have a go at the free raffle, where a bag with a USB stick and badge were won. Even managed a cheeky snap with SURGE who were also doing their bit.

Chilling with the SURGE boys

Back to the crowd to  watch some singing. I tried to join in but got shot down by friends. Strange how they are happy to be seen with me in my rather ludicrous hat yet refused to let me sing. I would have danced…but was enjoying the intimate moments with the rest of the crowd members far too much.

An angelic choir



Big man Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor of the University, came on with the Olympics torch bearers and our very own Olympian, Pavlos Kontides. Heard someone say “is this guy famous?” and I stepped in and told them to follow Don on Twitter. As he wished us farewell and best wishes for our Christmas break (3 weeks early), the countdown began. 3, 2, 1…Oh, wait, no lights! If you were watching Don, you wouldn’t have seen any lights turn on. Apart from when you turned around to see a few above the SUSU shop.

The time came to leave, and we strutted through the greenery apparently known as the “intercourse” to admire pretty, sparkly trees and the flashes of cameras as apparently it’s the thing to do when lights are turned on. Here is a photo of me in front of a tree at uni. With lights on.

All in all, a wonderful evening. Some cute market stalls were selling fudge, cakes and jams which proved to be very popular! It finally put a start to my festivities and made me panic even more about my lack of university work. Everyone enjoyed the atmosphere, snacks, music & singing which created a general buzz that the concourse has been without for a little too long now. It even seems that for a brief 10 minutes, the NUS referendum was somewhat forgotten.

Here's a picture of me. Just to annoy you all.

 Thank you to Grace Cameron and David Gunns for pictures!