When Santa fell off the stage in Saffron Walden
PUBLISHED: 15:57 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:45 04 December 2017
Saffron Photo 2017
Well, we know that Santa comes somehow down the chimney but no one expected him to fall off the stage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The town centre - and particularly King Street, which was lined with stalls - was packed so people could hardly walk down the road.
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.
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.
“This is a glorious town to shop in, said Cllr Freeman, “Let’s all make the most of it” and they did.