Misery of recent floods is put to one side as Father Christmas visits

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Father Christmas at the lights switch-on ceremony in Malmesbury Father Christmas at the lights switch-on ceremony in Malmesbury

Malmesbury welcomed the beginning of Christmas last weekend with an evening of festive frolicks along the high street.

The Earl of Suffolk switched on the town’s Christmas lights on Friday and  Father Christmas dropped in.

Mayor Ray Sanderson said: “It went very well, extremely well - it was very busy. Everyone was having fun and enjoying themselves. There were lots of stalls, it was very good.”

Fat Buddha’s Cafe, community group Heals, the Stencil Shed and the Cotswold Pudding Co were among the 30 Christmas market stalls that lined the high street.

Entertainment included carol singers, bell ringers, musicians, street entertainers and a brand new grotto for Father Christmas.

Sgt Martin Alvis said: “Everyone was very happy and friendly, and there were no issues at all.”

Coun Sanderson and the team from Heals collected donations for victims of the November floods.

Alison Cross Jones, who chairs Heals, said: “The people who suffered during the floods are most in need at the moment so it makes sense.

"The actual payment from us going to the mayor will be confirmed after December 10 when the appeal ends but the money raised from Friday was £379.44, which is a substantial amount.”

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