Norfolk towns still in the festive mood - on the 17th day after Christmas

It's the 17th day of Christmas and most of us have long since packed away our trees, tinsel, lights and baubles back in to the loft.

But while much of the region has stuck to observing the tradition of ending the festive season by Twelfth Night, some communities are still displaying yuletide signs.

The EDP noticed that the giant tree in Dereham Market Place was still up and after posting a message on Twitter about it, the subject became a big talking point this morning around the area and it emerged that other towns are also clinging on to festivities.

BBC Radio Norfolk Breakfast Show presenter Chris Goreham picked up on our tweet and his listeners joined in a light-hearted phone-in.

Dereham town clerk Tony Needham explained that the town's tree was due to be removed last Sunday, but it was delayed because of fears of high winds.

He said: 'The five day weather forecast didn't show the gales abating during the weekend, so we didn't want the risk of the cherry picker not being used. If we had got the cherry picker for last weekend the winds would have probably carried on blowing a gale and it would have wasted money.'

Mr Needham added that the cherry picker to remove the lights from the tree would have cost �1,000.

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The operation of taking down the decorations is due to take place this Sunday and the tree will be removed the following morning around 5am, to avoid disrupting rush hour traffic.

The tree was donated to the town council by Michael Goff, owner of Barker Bros Aggregates, in nearby Beetley, and the council put up the blue and white lights around the town.

They were switched on last November by Blake Barley, three, of Toftwood, whose life-changing surgery to help him walk unaided was made possible by Dereham residents, who raised �50,000.

Mr Goreham said listeners reported lights, trees and decorations were still up in Stalham, near North Walsham, Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton, Wymondham, King's Lynn and Norwich Cathedral, among other locations.

'We got a big response from people all over Norfolk. Most people put on so much emphasis to get decorations down by the Twelfth Night and were wondering why the town centres haven't stuck to it,' said Mr Goreham.

'Some people were saying the towns want to cling on to the Christmas spirit in what is going to be a difficult year.'

Today tinsel and lights were still up in Norwich's arcade and Christmas trees were still decorating St Stephen's Street, in Norwich, and lights and trees remained up in Thetford.

Susan Glossop, town manager of Thetford Town Councill, said they would be coming down over the next two days, which has always been the plan.

Do you still have your Christmas decorations up or know someone who does? Contact reporter Sophie Wyllie on 01362 854702 or Alternatively, send a tweet to @swyllie

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