Panto theme to Sheringham switch-on

Sheringham was transformed into Pantoland for the switch on of its festive lights.

Widow Twankey led the countdown as the colourful illuminations lit up the town centre streets on a snow-free but bitterly cold Saturday afternoon.

Staff in shops dressed up as panto characters, and shoppers explored a trail of panto scenes painted by a new Lottery-funded Open Door community art group.

Lights and switch on organisers the Upcher Community Partnership were pleased with the new-look event said manager Janet Farrow.

The town clock had also been transformed into a gingerbread house for the day which featured a parade of children as panto characters led by fireball jugglers.

The Salvation Army band, church choirs and handbell ringers added festive music.

Crowds were smaller than usual even though Sheringham had not had any snow, said Mrs Farrow.

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'It was very cold and people have not travelled in,' she added, but the streets were full as the Sheringham Little Theatre panto cast - Widow Twankey (Russel Hicken), Aladdin (Dale Page) and Princess Rosebud (Clare Riley) heralded the switch on, after colleague PC Pong (Edward Max) had got the crowd into panto mood with a cheering and booing warm up.

The theatre's Saturday morning arts class also took to the stage with songs ranging from Lady Gaga to Jingle Bells.

Families can tour the panto art boards looking for hidden creatures until January 7. Entry forms are available from the Upcher office near the town clock and Little Thdeatre.