Mayor’s column 5 December 2019

I am sure many of you joined me in the Market Place last Friday when I had the great honour and privilege to turn on our Christmas lights, as the culmination of an evening of samba, lanterns and carols.  Taking the bicentenary of the birth of J.W. Singer as the theme the event was a truly magical affair.

I was joined on the balcony of The George Hotel by two people, who I said represented the spirits of Christmas Past and Christmas Future. Steve Frances worked at Singers for 50 years, a record worthy of note in itself, but made all the more remarkable by his actions in saving over 3000 negative glass that recorded the work of the foundry.

Additionally, last week I also had the pleasure of selecting the winners of the Mayor’s Christmas card competition. I set Frome’s Under 12’s the challenge of designing a card that reflected our town’s commitment to the environment and selected three entries from a total entry of 496! I was delighted to welcome Lucas Ashby and his parents to the balcony to represent our winners.

Before and after the ceremony I took the opportunity to visit many of our town centre shops. It is important to support our traders and keep our town thriving which benefits not only the local businesses but also their families too. This evening and the next two Thursdays (12th & 19th) will see our shops remain open until 7pm to encourage Christmas shopping without the crowds so please do come and shop after work and school. Our younger shoppers are most welcome, and Father Christmas will be in his grotto from 5pm, seasonal goodies will also be on offer to keep you warm.  Look out for the posters in participating shops or on Discover Frome: www.discoverfrome.co.uk/your-guide-to-fromes-christmas-late-night-shopping/

This Saturday is also Small Business Saturday and to further encourage shoppers to visit the town, parking in the Cattle Market car park will be free all day. Please come and support our traders in the run-up to Christmas.