Saturday 9th December saw the
real start of Christmas in Whitchurch 2006. The Town Hall staff ran
a tombola to raise funds for the Mayor's Charity, the Youth Project,
and the Methodist Church laid on lunches. In the shops the
festivities continued with staff dressing up for the day.
A large crowd assembled outside the Town Hall at about 3.30pm to
listen to the Ladies Singing for Fun's rendition of Christmas songs
Once they had "warmed up"
the crowd, the Mayor Cllr Hugh James made a speech explaining that
this was the second year that Christmas in Whitchurch had taken place
and, thanks to a lot of hard work by Stewart Parrington and his
small team, it was even better than last year. The illuminated trees
around The Square adding to the festive cheer.
Almost all the Town Centre's
shop keepers had decorated their windows and the best of them was
judged (in best X Factor style) by a combination of judges and the
public to be Ian Clacy's window, which even included a sleeping (and
breathing dog). Joint second were Newbury Building Society and Karen Jarmarkier tying for second place.
The Mayor presented the Clacy's with their trophy.
He then presented over £100 raised in the
morning's tombola to Keith Watts for the Youth Project.
As can be seen from the pictures to the left,
there was a minor blizzard, centred exactly on the Mayor, the photos
bottom and centre left give a clue as to where the snow may have come from.
Children from the crowd were quick to exploit
the freak weather and Hugh suffered more indignity as they added to
the snow on his head and shoulders. Just out of the picture to the
right is the local MP, Sir George Young, who was also seen to be
made his get away to the Silk Mill, the Ladies provided more song
until they had to retire to the Town Hall for some well earned
mulled Hampshire cider and mince pies!
Sir George moved on to another part of the
Square to formally open the new Brockenhurst office which, with
Kingsley Financial Management, have taken over the premises to the South East of The Square to bring back more life to the town centre.