A giant bell will burst into flames in a fiery climax to the Winter Lights show in Hounslow later this month.

A lantern parade through Hounslow High Street, featuring spectacular creations of all shapes and sizes, will kick off the entertainment on Saturday, November 22.

It will be followed by a free fire and light show in Bell Square, also featuring Bhangra music and dancing, and culminating in the ignition of the specially made bell, to mark the illumination of Hounslow's Christmas lights.

A team of 20 young people, aged 17 to 24, are making the final preparations for the extravaganza, which will begin at 4.30pm outside Holy Trinity Church and last for about an hour in total.

They have spent the last two months working with staff at Watermans arts centre in Brentford and leading workshops across the borough to ensure as many people as possible can play a part on the day.

A bell lantern made for the Winter Lights parade is illuminated in the darkness
 

The project is part of the Creativity Works scheme, financed by the Mayor's Fund for London and the Berkeley Foundation, to help youths not in education, employment or training boost their job prospects while working with experts from the creative industry on events across the capital.

The show itself is also financed by the Arts Council and Hounslow Council, and although there is only funding for one year, Watermans director Jan Lennox said she hopes it will become an annual event.

"There will be a lantern procession, including tricycles will huge lanterns attached to them, and we're hoping lots of people will be involved in that," she said.

"The show will include lots of light and fire, and the finale, in which the bell is ignited, should be particularly dramatic."

As well as making lanterns for the parade, the young people involved have been learning about all areas of work at Watermans, from promotion to sound and lighting.

A work in progress for the lantern parade which will open the Winter Lights show in Hounslow
 

In the final weeks of the project they will get to focus on the area which most interests them, allowing them to build their skills with a view to getting a job or progressing to further training.

They will stay on for a few weeks after the show to finish the qualifications they have started and to take part in training sessions and assessments at West Thames College.

"The young people involved have all got really stuck in and you can already see they're more confident than when they started," said Ms Lennox.

"Hopefully this has given them a good idea of the opportunities within the creative sector and will help them get back into work or education."

Video thumbnail, Preparations for the Winter Lights show in Hounslow on November 22
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Marquez Gonzalo Dellamore was working on his lantern in the shape of Kenny from South Park when getwestlondon spoke to him this week.

The 24-year-old, of Hounslow West, recently finished his BTEC level 3 certificate in performing arts at West Thames College and was referred to the project by staff at Jobcentre Plus.

"I was nervous when I first got involved but it's made me a lot more confident," he said.

"It's been great to experience first hand all the different roles at Watermans. I thought I'd just enjoy the performing but I also really like the back stage work like making props.

"It's nice that Hounslow is finally getting artistic festivals. My girlfriend lives in Ealing where they've always celebrated the creative arts and it's great to see Hounslow getting on that bandwagon."

One of the bell lanterns which will feature in the procession kicking off the Winter Lights show in Hounslow