What a fantastic night that was.

Right from the start when the crowds gathered the anticipation that the evening was to be special was in the air – and the light rain was having no effect on the fun.

(scroll down to bottom of article to watch video)

The crowds gathered in the Square

The Town Square was full, with several hundred people packing the pavements and the Town Hall forecourt.
Some had said the last few years had lost its sparkle but it was right back here tonight as the town’s seasonal festivities got underway and Whitchurch’s growing community spirit rang out. The town is back on track with a bang!

While the growing crowds waited carols were sung, music rang out, and there were smiles everywhere.

As the seconds ticked down to 6.00pm the crowds mingled in anticipation, then from the Town Hall appeared Peter Pan (Waterloo Road actor Ben-Ryan Davies) and the Town Mayor and Mayoress Cllr Barry Jackman and his wife Sandra. Ten – nine – eight went the chant. With a cheer the plunger was depressed and the lights were on!

Autographs were signed

Young girls seemed to swoon at Peter Pan and the queue for autographs stretched right out of the Hall and round the corner!

Fun and excitement everywhere
The scrolls for the Fairytale Competition were revealed in the shops, mulled wine from H’s was toasted, and children’s eyes hunted for the white mice. Santa’s Grotto in Kingsleys, face painting in the Newbury, the Craft Fair at the Gill Nethercott Centre and the singers at the Silk Mill, all saw eager young faces full of excitement. Songs rang out, decorations twinkled and the community again came together.

The Mayor sits on Santa's knee!

Best attended ever…
With the new impetus provided by Pauline Choppen of the Bridal Shop and backed by the enthusiasm of the Town Mayor, many other traders and helpers and the promotion through this website, Whitchurch has certainly seen the best attended Christmas evening in recent memory.

Christmas is for children and if you were an adult, tonight took you back to your youth – who could not feel that childhood happiness as they watched the toy train in Dowlings window or saw the wonderful display in Clacy’s window, or the diorama in the Barbers.

Yes, Christmas had begun. Ring out the bells, and hang the decorations.

We will be putting a gallery of more pictures up in due course.

Comments (4)

  • The Mayor and Mayoress

    What a fantastic event, true community effort initiated by our Town Traders. Very many thanks to all who have put Christmas in Whitchurch back on track. The rain certainly did not dampen the spirits of those who filled the streets in the centre, so much so that some people I have spoken to today were unable to get through to see the lights switch on. Well done Whitchurch.

    Barry and Sandra
    Mayor and Mayoress

  • Pauline

    A fantastic night with an amazing atmosphere. Great to hear feed back today from many of the traders, and the kids faces as they run in to find the mice is priceless !! There is a book in the coffee shop if anyone would like to leave any thoughts on this or would like to suggest any ideas for projects in the new year by the traders of whitchurch, we would love to hear what everyone thought ! Thanks

  • Jeanette Chappell (Bridal Cake Shop)

    A lovely evening, despite my shop being out of town it was lovely of Hannah (H’s Coffee Shop) to let me have a table in the cafe to sell my christmas cakes from, it was brilliant I sold some cakes and took orders, well done to everyone who took part in organizing a great evening.

  • Friends of Whitchurch Silk Mill

    The Friends of Whitchurch Silk Mill would like to congratulate the organisers and all those that participated in the ‘Christmas Launch Spectacular’ in the town centre last Thursday evening. It was a fantastic night and we look forward to being involved in, dare we say it, an even bigger
    extravaganza next year! Well done Whitchurch.

    The Friends would also like to thank the following groups for supporting them on the night:

    Andover Musical Theatre Company for kindly allowing us access to their extensive theatrical
    costume collection (for any enquiries regarding costume hire call Denyse on 01256 893010 or

    and the choir ‘Harmony’ for their continued support of the Silk Mill and for delighting us once
    again with their beautiful singing. ‘Harmony’ are always keen to welcome new members. If you
    are interested in joining the choir please contact Helen Tuck (Musical Director) on 01635 45978
    or email rituck@newburyweb.net

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