Search

No festive lights for Watton High Street this Christmas

06:30 21 November 2012

The town sign of Watton.

The town sign of Watton.

Archant

There will be no Christmas lights and festive market in Watton High Street this year because of a lack of volunteers.

But Watton Town Council has suggested £7,500 be included in its budget next year for festive lights – and more could become available from this year’s budget.

A Christmas tree will be put up in Chaston Place, off the High Street, with lights on and the town team has stepped in to organise Christmas events for the town this year.

The council is looking for a contractor for next year’s lights.

Chris Edwards, businessman and chairman of the Watton Town Team, said: “We have picked up as much as we can. We are pleased that the town council made records available. We are pleased that the Christmas market and lights will be up next year in what I’m led to believe will be a far better show.

“Ultimately all of these organisations have got to work together. The town council has worked with us in giving us details of festive market stallholder names. They have allowed us to make the best of this year.”

Some 20 charity stalls, who were regulars on the Christmas market, will be setting up on December 15 on the High Street alongside the town team’s Entrepreneurs’ Christmas Market, from 8am.

Santa’s Grotto will be in the town clock between 10am and noon and 1pm-2.30pm that day.

A Christmas Crawl to encourage shoppers to visit independent retailers for prizes has also been organised by the town team.

The Christmas Festive Market and the white lights, which started in 2006, have been maintained and put up for the past five years by five people on a lighting and market committee. This group was separate to the council and disbanded earlier this year.

Paul Cooper, town council chairman, said there was a lack of younger volunteers coming forward to help with the lights and there were a lot of health and safety issues to comply with.

He added past volunteers had suffered verbal abuse while their ladders blocked the pavement when the lights were being put up.

Roy Ivory, a Watton town councillor and former committee member, said the cost of keeping the lights up-to-date over the past five years was £10,000 and the Christmas market cost £3,000 each year.

The committee received about £2,700 each year from the council.

Mr Ivory added: “The whole idea is to go like Swaffham and Dereham in as much as they can hire lights. We have done what we can cheaply and now we have got to look at putting money aside to look at a contractor to put the lights up. They will be different each year.

“The people in Watton want lights and it should push the council in the right direction. It might be a bit sad this year but I’m hoping that by doing this it will make for a great Christmas next year.”

Other news

3 minutes ago
The scene of the fire at the 45,000 square foot warehouse of E and S J Walpole Ltd, in North Pickenham. Picture: Tony Abel

Firefighters are at the scene of a blaze which has ripped through a warehouse near Swaffham.

Yesterday, 22:30
Firefighters have begun four days of strike action in a dispute over changes to their pension scheme. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Fire and rescue services across the region were called out a number of times tonight, with a 999 service continuing to operate as four days of strike action got underway.

Yesterday, 17:51
Villagers, parish councillors and the North Pickenham Community Project LTD members outside the old Blue Lion pub in the village which they want to buy after it's closure.
 Picture by: Sonya Duncan

A determined band of villagers who want to reopen their rural pub as a community centre need to raise quarter of a million pounds in their quest to buy the venue.

Yesterday, 15:43
Southwold beach on another warm sunny day in October.
Iona (left) and Isobel Jenkins enjoying the beach.

It has felt more like the height of summer than the end of October today, as unseasonably high temperatures smashed the record for the warmest Halloween in Britain.

Most Read

Thu, 17:28
The family of Hanna Bowman have paid tribute to her after she died in a crash at Weeting.

A “bubbly and vivacious” woman died after her car crashed into a tree, an inquest has heard.

Read more
Tue, 16:52
Police investigate the road accident near Scoulton. Picture: Simon Finlay

Police are appealing for information after a man died when his car went into a ditch in Scoulton.

Read more
Wed, 16:30
Police investigate the fatal road accident near Scoulton where one person died.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

A campaigner has launched a fresh appeal to reduce speed limits along a dangerous stretch of road after a man died when his car plunged into a ditch.

Read more
Mon, 16:40
Sculptor Harriet Mead and Tony Abel with the horse sculpture made out of farm machinery to mark the end of the Abel Homes housing development. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A sculpture by one of the country’s leading wildlife artists has been unveiled at a housing development.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:51
Villagers, parish councillors and the North Pickenham Community Project LTD members outside the old Blue Lion pub in the village which they want to buy after it's closure.
 Picture by: Sonya Duncan

A determined band of villagers who want to reopen their rural pub as a community centre need to raise quarter of a million pounds in their quest to buy the venue.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 14°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Watton and Swaffham Times e-edition today E-edition