Shoppers get into carnival spirit

HUNDREDS of people turned out on Sunday for Royston s Christmas Carnival. But it almost did not happen as storms struck while Royston town centre manager Geraint Burnell and his team were erecting stalls. He said at one point they were clinging desperate

HUNDREDS of people turned out on Sunday for Royston's Christmas Carnival.

But it almost did not happen as storms struck while Royston town centre manager Geraint Burnell and his team were erecting stalls.

He said at one point they were "clinging desperately" to the stalls which were being set out for the Farmers' Market.

As rain lashed across the market square just two stalls had been erected by 7.10am.


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Usually by 7.30am all 24 stalls would be in place.

The storm passed and a decision was taken to erect as many stalls as possible - and each one was secured to railings, posts and bollards.

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Mr Burnell said the "strange" layout of the market was because "we just couldn't put anything in the middle of the square without it being blown away".

"I think the Christmas Carnival shows Royston at its best," said Mr Burnell.

"Massive amounts of goodwill are required from the authorities, the retailers and all participants," he said.

Mr Burnell continued that in the weeks leading up to the event he was "begging favours" and borrowing items to make the day a success.

And "no-one complains", he said.

The day included a gift fair in the Oak Room and the ballroom of the Old Bull Hotel, while charity stalls were set up along Angel Pavement.

Santa, who was in his grotto in the garden of the Toy Shop, began distributing presents to children at 10am - and was still going strong five hours later.

Retailers had contributed more than 300 presents for Santa's grotto where £350 was raised for this year's Mayor of Royston, Cllr Lynn Berry's charities: Meldreth Manor School at the Old Barn Day Centre in Royston.

Mr Burnell added: "As far as I am aware, a great day was had by all and I hope we've done just another little bit to make Royston people proud of their town.

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