Christmas switch-ons to warm the heart thanks to Swale Heating

The Medway towns will be brightened with Christmas cheer this year, thanks to local firm Swale Heating.

Christmas light switch-ons will take place in Chatham, Rochester, Gillingham, Strood and Rainham in the lead-up to the festive season, with each event having its own exciting entertainment programme.

Swale Heating, one of the largest independently-owned heating companies in the South East, is sponsoring the switch-ons as part of its ongoing commitment to the community it serves.

The programme starts in Chatham on November 17, with entertainment at all events starting at 3.45pm and concluding with the big switch-on at around 5pm:

  • Chatham, at the junction of Meeting House Lane and Chatham High Street: Friday, November 17 – Former Hollyoaks star Andy Moss will press the magic button, with family entertainment hosted by Heart presenter James Heming.

  • Rochester, at the junction of Blue Boar Lane and Rochester High Street: Saturday, November 18 – Actress Claire Sweeney will switch the lights on, while Heart presenter James Heming will keep the crowd entertained.

  • Gillingham, Smiths Square: Friday, November 24 – There will be live performances from teen singing sensation Jack Rose, X Factor finalist Joseph Thomas (formerly of Rough Copy) and West End star Catherine Cassell.

  • Strood, Friary Place: Saturday, November 25 – Choir singing, competitions, and an appearance from Owlette of hit children’s show PJ Masks are among the highlights at the Strood switch-on.

  • Rainham, Rainham Shopping Centre: Friday, December 1 – The Deputy Mayor will switch the lights on with the help of everyone’s favourite bear Paddington, with a live entertainment programme also lined up.

Dotty, the mascot of Demelza children’s hospice, will attend the events in Chatham and Gillingham after being invited by Swale Heating, which has a long-standing partnership with the charity.

For more information on the events, including the chance to meet Owlette and Paddington, visit

Matthew Edwards, Swale Heating’s sales director, said: “While we specialise in heating homes, we know how much these events warm the hearts of many in the build-up to Christmas. We’re delighted to sponsor this programme of switch-ons and hope they make the communities glow as bright as the decorative lights themselves.”