SANTA’S little helpers have got on their bikes to ensure Dunbar is sparkling this Christmas.

The seven-strong team behind the town’s annual festive spectacular are aiming to cycle a total of 2,300 miles – the same distance from Dunbar to Santa’s Lapland home – to raise funds ahead of this year’s switch-on.

Craig Rapson, who has been a member of the Christmas lights team for seven years, told the Courier: “Obviously, it is not a physical cycle [to Lapland].

“It was a discussion between the committee and we thought we could ride the 2,300 miles between us and a few volunteers.

“We all try to get on our real bikes and put in the miles every week.”

The team of volunteers works in the town’s Corn Exchange, just yards from the town’s High Street, where the lights go up.

Once a week, the team members upgrade and maintain the lights to ensure they are ready for the big switch-on at the end of next month.

Upgrades to the lights have taken place in recent years, with thousands of pounds spent converting them to LED.

Craig said: “We are constantly trying to explain to people that all the lights go up because of the public.

“It is the generosity of the people in the Dunbar community and the sponsorship from local businesses that helps us put the lights up.

“There is still a feeling sometimes that we receive money from the council. We receive a small amount through the community council each year, if it is available, but as a community initiative we have to raise somewhere in the region of £8,000.”

Craig, who works in industrial electronics, said that the coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions had severely dented the group’s ability to fundraise.

He said: “During this Covid-19 situation, most of our fundraising has just stopped, which is a real concern for us. Normally, we have race nights or quiz nights, things that involve people being in close proximity to one another.”

Craig told the Courier the team was looking to committee members John Whelan and Gavin Tulloch to cover the bulk of the miles.

To sponsor the team and boost the Christmas lights, go to