Bumper crowd turns out for Christmas lights switch-on in Cromer

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Local children and performers from the Cromer Pier Show performin

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Local children and performers from the Cromer Pier Show performing the honours.Photo: Steve Adams

Five-year-old schoolgirl Metiya Nudchanad lit up Cromer - by turning on the town's Christmas lights.

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

The Suffield Park Infant School pupil won the chance to flick the switch on the festive display outside the Parish Church after impressing in the annual Christmas tree poster competition.

She was joined on stage by fellow winners - eight-year-old Ella Harris, from St Mary's School in Roughton, and Kieran Shapcott, aged 10, from Gresham Village School - and members of the Cromer Pier Christmas Show for the switch-on.

And a crowd, numbering in its hundreds, turned out to show support, with Rev James Porter leading a carol service under the tree, accompanied by Sheringham Salvation Army Band and Cromer Church Gospel Choir.

Tony Shipp, one of the organisers on the Christmas lights committee, said: 'I think this is probably one of the bigger crowds we've had recently, it was great - a really good turnout.

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams


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'Cromer has always been known for the atmosphere that it has, whether it is now at Christmas time or Carnival in the summer, it's the people who make it.'

A silver bobble aptly placed on the Christmas tree has been donated by the Briggs family in memory of Tony West, who volunteered his time to the lights committee before he passed away earlier this year.

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Mr Shipp said: 'The streets are festooned with an array of colours and we've got the traditional tree back, which looks fabulous.'

And he added: 'Once the lights are on Christmas starts in the town and that's what we all look forward to.'

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

The traditional Christmas tree has replaced the alternative Christmas tree outside the church this year, with the alternative tree - which town councillors heard has been compared to everything from a star to a pineapple - now installed outside the neighbouring museum.

This year's display boasts £5000 worth of new lights, including a Merry Christmas banner emblazoned with the town's crest.

The volunteers who put up the Christmas lights revealed they have been heartened by the public's response to this year's display and pointed out they are always looking for new people to join them.

Paul Whittingham, a member of the Christmas lights team, said: 'It can be very challenging at times, it takes us eight weeks to put the lights up and four weeks to take them down again.

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

'We're out in all weathers, we can't not put the lights up because it's raining or snowing. Two or three days this time we've been out from half past eight in the morning to four o'clock in the afternoon.

'This is the first year that every single light is LED which saves a huge amount of energy and our electricity bill is reduced considerably because of that.

'The Christmas tree is now back in its original position and to celebrate we've bought some new lights to go with it. The alternative Christmas tree was there but people always said there should be a proper Christmas tree in the proper place (outside the church).'

And he added: 'It just brightens the whole town up, everyone says how wonderful they look.'

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

As well as the switch-on of the Christmas lights, the late-night shopping extravaganza also included performances by Parallel Dance Group and Marlene's School of Dance, stilt walkers and, while the reindeers couldn't make it, there was also an appearance from Santa.

Reflecting on the festivities, Cromer's deputy mayor John Frosdick, who helped put up the lights, said: 'It's a bit of a cold day but it's been a warm atmosphere here which has really made it all worthwhile.' And he added: 'It's getting bigger and better every year.'

For more photographs pick up a copy of next week's Eastern Daily Press and North Norfolk News, and to view a longer video of the event find us on Facebook.

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

Cromer Christmas Lights switch on. Photo: Steve Adams

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