‘Good ‘ol shopping’ experience returns to Great Dunmow High Street just in time for Christmas

DUNMOW high street returned to the “good ol’ days” on Sunday as hundreds of Christmas shoppers poured into the town. And it was so good there could be similar events on the horizon, organisers have said.

The Dickensian Shopping Day, which replaced Late Night Shopping this year, created a festive atmosphere. Most of the town’s shops were open for business, a range of stalls lined the high street, a rock choir were singing carols and there was a Santa’s grotto for children.

Some shopkeepers recorded their best takings of the year.

Nigel May, owner of May & Brett, said: “This year has been tough for high streets, not just Dunmow but all over the country, so it was great to see everyone having a good time and people supporting their local shops.

“It was like the good ol’ days. A few more events like this one – not so many as to spoil it – but maybe two or three to encourage people into the town would be excellent.”

Paula Uragello, owner of Cloud IX, added that getting shoppers into the town with events at the weekend was half the battle.

“People jump into the car and head off to Chelmsford without realising what our high street has to offer. That’s why it was fantastic to see so many people in the town.

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“I would really like to see a two-day Christmas event with a road closure – that would be really nice. Alternatively a farmers’ market a few times a year would bring people into the town.”

The event has painted a stark contrast to that of 2012 in general. The high street has struggled, with businesses closing and overall trade down.

But events such as the one on Sunday could rejuvenate it, according to the Dunmow & District Chamber.

“There is definitely room to expand it, both the Christmas event and the possibility of another event in the year,” chairman Mike Perry told the Broadcast.

“There was a lot of smiling people, which is not too common nowadays. Now they’ve been here and seen what we have, they’ll hopefully come back.

“I have had great feedback and all of Sunday’s stalls have asked to come back next year having sold out during the event and there is room for more.”

Jacky Rom, who organised the event, said: “All in all, it was a great day and one to build on for future years.”

Many of the town’s shops will also be open for the following two Sundays in the build up to Christmas.

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