They’ve been deemed good enough to decorate the 324-metre-high Eiffel Tower, used to festoon the cafes and speciality shops along Paris’s prestigious Champs Elysees and illuminated Oxford Street.
But similar Christmas lights have been banned from sale at Bournemouth’s Christmas market after council contractors branded them “not relevant.”
Now businessman Daryl Self, who bought in £200,000 worth of Blachere fairy lights in the hope of selling half his stock at the Christmas market, has been left with stacks of unopened boxes in a Christchurch warehouse.
He said: “Unfortunately I’ve discovered that Scrooge is alive and well in Bournemouth. It’s absurd to say that Christmas lights are not relevant to a Christmas market.
“When we applied for a stall, offering cut-price lights, it never occurred to us that we would be turned down.
“We were hoping to have a pitch from November 19 until January 3. I’ve five children, with another one on the way, and it now looks like our house will be transformed into a winter wonderland this Christmas.”
In emailed correspondence to Mr Self on November 18, council contractors S&D Leisure Bournemouth Ltd said: “Unfortunately your application was unsuccessful. It was felt that the product was not relevant to the Bournemouth Xmas Market for 2009.”
Mr Self, who runs SelfTrading Ltd on Airfield Way, said: “It’s too late now to sell the lights anywhere else and we’re offering them at half price online in a bid to shift some of them.”
Town centre manager Roger Parker said: “We are working with a market operator new to Bournemouth for this year’s event (S&D Leisure) and are aiming to create a Christmas market directly relevant to a traditional Christmas celebration.
“Our aim is to present a range of goods that are seasonal, hand crafted or are of local origin and which are displayed and presented in an atmospheric way.
“We are also conscious to have products that are complementary to the existing traders on the high street.”
l Readers can obtain an additional 20 per cent off Christmas lights by going to selfmart.co.uk and entering the ECHO discount code.