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Gallery: Putting the final preparations to the Perfect Christmas in Suffolk and Essex

13:53 14 December 2012

Jack and  the Beanstalk, Mercury Theatre, Colchester from the 7th of December until 12th of January 2013. 
Simple Simon, played by Dale Superville, Lady Mia, played by Emily Bull and Jack played by Jai Vethamony in the panto, Jack and the beanstalk at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester.

Jack and the Beanstalk, Mercury Theatre, Colchester from the 7th of December until 12th of January 2013. Simple Simon, played by Dale Superville, Lady Mia, played by Emily Bull and Jack played by Jai Vethamony in the panto, Jack and the beanstalk at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester.

Archant

IT is the most magical time of year, and this week there has been an extra sparkle sprinkled over the region.

In Colchester, the curtain went up on The Mercury Theatre’s annual panto. This year audience’s are enjoying the spectacle that is Jack and The Beanstalk.

Father Christmas has been checking his list after speaking with children at Denny’s in Bury St Edmunds and in Ipswich, shoppers snapped up bargains at the Fore Street Christmas market.

Footballers took a trip to the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice, as well as other medical centres across Suffolk, to spread some festive cheer.

Scouts in Stowmarket have shown they are prepared for Christmas by launching their annual post service.

Tree festivals have also taken place around the region, celebrating the iconic Christmas tree.

• Share you Christmas celebrations by uploading photos, and video, to suffolk.iwitness24.co.uk. • For Christmas events and church services, visit our Perfect Christmas pages.

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A rise in the older population could put strains on health services. Getty Images/iStockphoto

New estimates predicting a steep rise in the region’s older population have prompted fears for the future of health services.

Stock image of the A14 near Bury St Edmunds.

One lane is blocked on the A14 westbound at Thurston due to a broken down van.

Abbie Howard, who died this month after suffering from cystic fibrosis.

A young Ipswich woman could have had a second chance at life if more people were willing to sign up as organ donors, her friends have said.

Some of the PhotoEast exhibition on the Ipswich Waterfront

Celebrations were enjoyed on Ipswich waterfront as the inaugural PhotoEast Festival was officially launched.

Ambulances at Colchester General Hospital's A&E department.

Private paramedics have been hired by Colchester General Hospital to free up ambulance crews at busy times.

File picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service at work.

Firefighters were called to the semi-detached property shortly after midnight.

Car has collided with a tree on Bury Road, Newmarket.

The father of Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble has died following a road crash.

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