When Santa fell off the stage in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 15:57 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45 04 December 2017

The Market Square was packed with people for the switch on. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The Market Square was packed with people for the switch on. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Photo 2017

Well, we know that Santa comes somehow down the chimney but no one expected him to fall off the stage.

Father Christmas arrives with his elves. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Father Christmas arrives with his elves. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

He landed in a heap in front of the crowd, just as he was about to turn on the Christmas lights on Friday night in Saffron Walden. It might have been his long hair in front of his eyes. He didn’t trip, he just stepped out in the dark beyond the platform.

Father Christmas arrives with his elves. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Father Christmas arrives with his elves. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

But unfazed, because of course there must be lots of mishaps when you travel round the world in a single night, he picked himself up, serenely, and called for children in the crowd to help him with the countdown.

Father Christmas with town clerk Lisa Courtney (left) dressed as an elf and the Mayor of Saffron Walden, Councillor Dr Richard Freeman in his ceremonial robes. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Father Christmas with town clerk Lisa Courtney (left) dressed as an elf and the Mayor of Saffron Walden, Councillor Dr Richard Freeman in his ceremonial robes. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

There was an enthusiastic response from hundreds of little voices, many from youngsters sitting on parents’ shoulders. In fact, it went so well, he got them to do the countdown twice. The power of it magically turned on the lights.

Father Christmas on stage with his helpers from the crowd, Olivia, Emily and Daisy with his elves, including town clerk Lisa Courtney. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Father Christmas on stage with his helpers from the crowd, Olivia, Emily and Daisy with his elves, including town clerk Lisa Courtney. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Santa was joined on the platform by town clerk Lisa Courtney, dressed as an elf, who earlier had been handing out sweets to the crowd, and the Mayor of Saffron Walden, Councillor Dr Richard Freeman respendent in his red ceremonial robes.

Children were called up on the stage to help with the countdown Children were called up on the stage to help with the countdown

After the lights lit up the square, singer Hayley McRandall came on stage, singing Let it Snow (The weather outsite is frightful) and delighted children started dancing.

Children were called up on the stage to help with the countdown. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Children were called up on the stage to help with the countdown. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Hayley was one of several perfomers for the evening, including Laura Blackmoor, principal of Stagecoach in Newport, who sang Christmas Lulaby, singer song-writers, Elliot Porter and Ben Smith, and an ensemble from Saffron Walden County High School called Tactical Cactus.

Children were called up on the stage to help with the countdown. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Children were called up on the stage to help with the countdown. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

The town centre - and particularly King Street, which was lined with stalls - was packed so people could hardly walk down the road.

The Market Square was packed with people for the switch on. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO The Market Square was packed with people for the switch on. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

As well as charity stalls and food stalls, there were games including guess the name of the Elf raising money for Rapunzle, this year’s panto from NATS, Newport Amateur Theatrical Society.

Children dancing to songs sung by Hayley McRandle. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Children dancing to songs sung by Hayley McRandle. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Upstairs in the town hall there was a gift fair. Organisers Jacqui Portway and Peter Riding said, despite the cold, more people had come along to the switch-on than ever this year and the late night shopping.

Children enjoyed the light sabres. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Children enjoyed the light sabres. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

“This is a glorious town to shop in, said Cllr Freeman, “Let’s all make the most of it” and they did.

Christmas can be quite a puzzle. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Christmas can be quite a puzzle. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Walden town clerk Lisa Courtney (front) dressed as a elf, hands out sweets to the crowd with Annie Arris from The Laughter Specialists, actors who entertain children in hospital. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Saffron Walden town clerk Lisa Courtney (front) dressed as a elf, hands out sweets to the crowd with Annie Arris from The Laughter Specialists, actors who entertain children in hospital. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

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