Matlock Bath lights up for 2012

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The River Derwent was alive with colour once more for the launch of the 115th Matlock Bath Illuminations.

The 2012 season started with a fabulous lights show and a spectacular parade of decorated boats.

In his 44th year as illuminations compere, Cllr Geoff Stevens led the countdown and local youngsters Jack and Ruby Fletcher helped with the switch-on in the Derwent Gardens bandstand.

They were overseen by Cllr Tony Millward, chairman of the Derbyshire Dales District Council and guest of honour Megan Mosedale, 14, who carried the Olympic Torch in the run up to the London 2012 Games.

This year’s decorated boat winners were Matlock’s Pete Hartshorn and Tansley’s Christine Dence, who took the prestigious Arkwright Cup, donated in 1903 by Sir Richard Arkwright, for their ‘Noddy’s Car’ craft.

The pair also won the Centenary Cup and a cash prize of £270.

Second prize went to ‘Toyland Express’ by Ian Page, of Cromford, who won the Plumtree Cup and £235.

Third prize was won to a Royal row barge ‘Gloriana’ by Matlock’s Paul Hensall, who took the Sheffield Wire Rope Cup and £205.

In fourth place was Cromford’s Rob Easton, who won the Dave Sanderson Trophy and £170 with ‘King Kong’.

Ten boats in total will take part in the fantastic parade of decorated boats on the River Derwent every Saturday and Sunday from 8pm, with entertainment starting in the Derwent Gardens at 7pm.

Cllr Millward said: “It really was a fantastic night.

“I really enjoyed the first night of the 2012 season and I have to say the district council deserves a lot of credit not only for organising such a stunning event again this year but aiming to do so once more at no cost to our council tax payers.”

The Matlock Bath Illuminations will run until October 27.

Further information and advance tickets are available by visiting www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/illuminations