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New Christmas lights needed for Orkney – because the old ones are too heavy and might fall down in the wind

New Christmas lights will be needed for Orkney's lampposts this holiday season.
New Christmas lights will be needed for Orkney's lampposts this holiday season.

New festive lights will have to be found for use around Orkney, as the old ones may be too heavy to be mounted on newer models of street lights.

This week saw Orkney Islands Council’s development and infrastructure committee view a new policy for the festive lights service they have provided for the county’s community councils and other organisations over the last 20 years.

However, after the council was asked to carry out an investigation, it was found that the larger, heavier decorations will have to be replaced.

There could be a risk of “structural failure” with the new street lights, once you factor in the wind.

It was found that the decorations no longer meet the “windage” – or force of wind – standards set by the street lighting column manufacturers.

Orkney Islands Council’s headquarters in Kirkwall. Picture by Sandy McCook

As the council’s interim head of infrastructure and strategic projects David Thomson, put it: “The windage standards required by street lighting column manufacturers have got tighter and tighter as they’ve been making columns of thinner and thinner metal to save us, and them, money.”

The report to councillors states that 123 column decorations have been used around Orkney including the festoons used in Kirkwall, Stromness and St Margaret’s Hope.

It is hoped that new decorations will be found in time for the upcoming festive season and the old decorations can be used elsewhere, away from the county’s roads network.

Councillors approved plans for the council to act as a facilitator in helping the community councils and other organisations to buy new festive decorations for use from this year onwards.

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