Although we’ve been listening to the merry strains of every festive song from ‘Do they Know I wish it could be Christmas every Christmas’ to ‘Happy Christmas Mr Hargreaves time for your injection’, blaring out from shops for the past month, in fact Christmas actually started today.
Here in Bridgwater we have a recent ancient tradition of turning on the Christmas lights combined with the unlikely Pagan festival of ‘Snowflakes and Shopping’. And Squibbing. The plan here, brought in by the local Witan, sees the town centre (the heart of Westover) filled with fairground style attractions, linking in to the Friday ‘Castle’ market and feeding neatly into an extended late opening for the shops while Christmas lights get turned on at around 6pm and then the town’s famous squibs get an extra airing at more or less 7.30.
This year our festive joy was even more joyful as the event featured the return of the Bridgwater Christmas tree which had been quietly left out of recent years festivities due to incidents of vandalism but after a campaign by residents and Westover councillors it’s now back where it should have been all along.