Christmas is coming! Centrepiece tree marks start of town’s festive season
- Credit: NEIL DIDSBURY
Uncertainty around coronavirus restrictions has left us all in the dark about sort of Christmas we can expect this year.
But one thing for certain is that volunteers across the region will be doing everything they can to ensure their communities still have a colourful festive feel.
And Christmas arrived in style in the north Norfolk town seaside town of Cromer on Saturday when a 25ft Christmas Tree was put up in the parish churchyard.
Around 4,000 LED lights have already been placed around the town centre, with another 2,500 smaller bulbs to decorate the tree.
Paul Whittingham, from the Cromer Christmas Lights Team, said: “We thought that since we’re not having a switch-on it’s important to have as many lights up around the town as we can to give people something to enjoy.”
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The team has installed another Christmas tree in Mill Road, and there are plans to continue a tradition of having an ‘alternative’ tree in front of Cromer Museum.
Richard Leeds, town mayor and Christmas lights team member, said he hoped the display would help draw shoppers.
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Mr Leeds said: “After the lockdown we’ll need a kick-start to keep us going to Christmas and into the new year.
“It’s most important to try and shop local this year. We’ve got some fantastic shops and most of them are independent. If we don’t have them for next Easter and summer it will be a sad old day.”
Val Boom, who organises fundraising for the display, said it had been a difficult year to fundraise, but they wanted to thank everyone who helped as well as the Church Street gift shop Upstairs Downstairs, which collected donations.
She said: “We spend £8,000 a year on replacement lights, new lights, electricity, insurance. At the moment we’re topping £1,000 in donations, which isn’t bad at all, because we weren’t able to do any events.”
And the Christmas tree is already putting smiles on people’s faces.
Justin Cox, Cromer Academy teacher and dad to Ruby, 11, and Maisie, nine, said they were thrilled to see it being installed.
Mr Cox said: “It looks great and is something that will really make people happy. When we spotted it, we drove around the block three times so the kids could see it again.”
Both of the trees were donated by a family from North Walsham, who grow them.