Swaffham switch-on brings out crowds
Dark clouds and intermittent rain did not deter visitors to Swaffham’s annual Christmas lights switch-on held on Saturday.
It was a six-hour feast which kicked off at 2pm with Christmas carols, fairground fun and stalls selling warming food and drink.
At times the crowds thinned out a little but the Market Place was packed out for the lights switch-on at 6pm.
The switch was pressed by major sponsor, Tony Abel, of Abel Homes, assisted by his managing director Paul Legrice and deputy mayor, Colin Houghton.
“The weather affected the amount of people who stayed for the whole time.
“I think what has happened is that people came for a short while, went home and came back again,” said town clerk, Richard Bishop.
For a change the fairground attractions filled the Market Place rather than the nearby side streets.
Santa Claus in his grotto was popular with youngsters especially after the school day ended when pupils from the town’s infant, junior and senior schools made a beeline for the town centre.
“We’ve been very pleased with the number of stalls this year.
“We’ve had more than usual – 34, I think – with a good variety of crafts, food and drink,” said Mr Bishop.
With a first prize of £250 sales of raffle tickets were brisk.
A long list of runner-up prizes were all donated.
Father Christmas even brought two of his reindeer who, when not on Christmas duty, normally live at Melsop Farm Park, near Watton, to the Plowright Place where they never tired of munching carrots provided by excited children.
Entertainment included the choirs from the Sacred Heart and Swaffham infant and junior schools, Christmas carols from the Breckland Christian Fellowship and local singer, Ian Clews.
The afternoon ended with more rousing Christmas music from Fakenham Town Band.