Flood-hit shop in Bury St Edmunds recovers to win festive window competition

Sue Warren (right, holding shield) and Mark Cordell with staff at Loft & Spires.

Sue Warren (right, holding shield) and Mark Cordell with staff at Loft & Spires. - Credit: Archant

There’s good news today for a home and gift shop, in Bury St Edmunds, which had to close for several weeks during the autumn because of flooding, after it was crowned the best Christmas window in the town.

The accolade has gone to Loft & Spires, in the Cornhill, which only re-opened last month following its devastating ordeal.

The annual competition is organised by Our Bury St Edmunds, which runs the Business Improvement District (BID) and the shop was given top prize by this year’s guest judge Sue Warren who is brand and marketing manager for the town’s tourism organisation Bury St Edmunds and Beyond.

Highly commended were former winner florist Tudor Rose and bridal boutique House of Snow, both in Hatter Street.

Sue said: “When I was invited to judge this competition I had no idea it was going to be such a difficult task as the standard is so incredibly high.

“The creativity among Bury’s businesses when it comes to window displays is fantastic. The key elements I was looking for were creativity and festivity and Loft & Spires had that in abundance with their window that faces The Traverse. I was also looking for a window that really showcased what they were selling which made you want to go in to see more and in this they excelled.”

Romy Abraham, who owns the shop, said: “This hasn’t been the easiest year for us with the flooding, so to have some good news just before Christmas is wonderful.

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“The shop staff have been amazing in helping to create this Christmas display by making all the elements for it in their own time. It was a difficult and time consuming job and when eventually finished I was told, in no uncertain terms, by the team that it would be the last window I would be allowed to design – hence, I am feeling particularly smug.

“We started with an antique bicycle that had come from France but it was bright orange and we sprayed it several times to make it white.

“I am so lucky to have such a wonderful and creative team to work with. They all put in a lot of hard work and I am delighted it all paid off.”

Loft & Spires will now hold the prestigious Our Bury St Edmunds shield for a year after being presented with it by Our Bury St Edmunds chief executive Mark Cordell and Sue.

Mr Cordell said: “Sue was extremely diligent as a judge and I thank her for the time that she put into this. The businesses in Bury St Edmunds make a real effort with their windows and the job of judging them is not one to be undertaken lightly.

“I congratulate the team at Loft & Spires for winning the competition, especially as they have been a runner up a number of times in previous years and I hope that their success continues into 2018.”

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