Southwold and Stowmarket: Christmas lights switch on

BRAVE festive revellers braced the freezing temperatures and turned out in force to watch as their towns were transformed into winter wonderlands.

Thousands of people were in Southwold and Stowmarket last night for the annual Christmas lights switch-on.

However, late night shopping in Framlingham was cancelled as the bitter cold claimed another casualty – although today’s Christmas Tree Festival is set to open at St Michael’s Church at 10am as planned.

Last night organisers said about 3,000 people turned out in Southwold to watch Father Christmas roll into town in a beach hut before switching on the festive lights.

The procession was led by the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums.

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Organiser Mark Bryant said: “It was a great night. Despite the weather, it was incredibly well supported.

“We are very pleased.

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“All the shops stayed open and there was the usual Christmas-themed craft and food stalls, along with real reindeer.”

Meanwhile, former Hollyoaks and Casualty heart-throb James Redmond was on-hand in Stowmarket to switch on the lights.

Mr Redmond, now plying his trade as a stand-up comic, had previously compered a comedy night at the town’s Regal Theatre.

The switch-on was part of a festive extravaganza featuring live entertainment at locations throughout the town centre.

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