Thousands of excited children and adults could be left disappointed this evening after it has emerged that the chosen light bulbs for the town’s Christmas lights display are not energy efficient, and hundreds of environmental campaigners have arrived in the town to voice their anger.

Event planners had originally decided to use traditional bulbs in the display as the low-wattage versions would have taken seven hours to warm up each day, but this decision had been kept a secret until now. Percy Filament of the Southend Greener Energy Forum spoke to one of our reporters this morning to explain why there is so much anger ahead of the big switch-on.

He said, ‘When I took a closer look at the town’s Christmas lights display ahead of the main event this evening, I noticed that the bulbs are the old-fashioned type, and not the ones that look like a glowing coiled poo. I have estimated that over the festive period, having 25,000 correct and legal bulbs would save the planet enough energy to power a TV remote control for five minutes. Therefore, I have decided to drive my Toyota Previa slowly around the town centre at 5 mph and rev the engine constantly until our concerns are addressed.’

In the event that the Christmas lights switch-on is cancelled this evening, visitors are being advised to bring £20 for a train ticket to London so that they can see the slightly better display on Oxford Street.