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“There has never been anything else in the town quite like it.”


Frank James
Worked as an electrician at the original event

The Lights of Leamington was a much-loved festival which ran between the summer and autumn in the town’s Jephson Gardens for over 10 years from 1951 up until 1961. It was an annual lights spectacle and illumination show described as a ‘A fairy- tale of colour’. The idea was to lift the spirits of visitors following the austere years after the war. The festival featured fireworks, dancing, live music, drink and food and illuminated displays.

We have formed a passionate steering group who have the enthusiasm, energy and expertise to re-imagine this festival for a new generation.

We have secured funding from the Arts Council England ‘National Lottery Project Grants’ to run a feasibility study with the support of Curated Place, our delivery partner. This will research, scope and consult to see how feasible a new festival could be. It will recommend how our ambitions could be achieved and what the limitations are. Most importantly it will consider how such a festival can be funded.

Our hope is to treat visitors to a kaleidoscope of dazzling installations, music and performance. Our vision is for a family-friendly, socially inclusive visual spectacular to light up Leamington Spa in a multi-sensory, environmentally-conscious and memorable way.

So what was the previous festival like?

We’ve been digging into the archives.

Take a look at what we’ve found…

To view more historic images held by the Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum – please click here.

The Leamington History Group is also an excellent source of information – please click here.  

Credit – Maurice Mead Photography* I Credit – Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum (Warwick District Council)
(*Guinness Clock, The Jephson Tavern, Elephant & Piano on the Pond)