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Hundreds bear the freezing weather to come out for Diss' annual Christmas light switch-on



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Despite strong winds and freezing rain, hundreds gathered in the centre of Diss on Saturday to celebrate the town’s annual Christmas lights switch-on.

They were in good company – with Town Mayor Eric Taylor, local celebrity Ben Langley, Corn Hall panto stars Snow White and Nurse Fanny, and Father Christmas himself, all all in attendance to light up the town.

“I would like to thank everyone who turned out to support this year’s Christmas lights switch on,” said Councillor Taylor.

Hundreds of people came out on Saturday to celebrate the first light switch on in two years. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.
Hundreds of people came out on Saturday to celebrate the first light switch on in two years. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.

“With the high winds and extremely wet weather the conditions certainly weren’t ideal, but seeing so many people come out and enjoy the event was extremely heart-warming.

“By the time I climbed onto the vintage fire engine with Father Christmas every item of clothing I was wearing was wet through. But the sea of smiling faces as we paraded up Mere Street made it all worthwhile.

Diss Town Council’s planning for the event began all the way back in February – in an effort to make up for last year’s cancellation.

Diss Town Mayor Eric Taylor was joined by none other than Father Christmas himself. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.
Diss Town Mayor Eric Taylor was joined by none other than Father Christmas himself. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.

Cllr Taylor added: “We all missed having the annual switch-on last year. And huge thanks go out to the organising committee who have worked hard for months to make sure everything ran smoothly – despite the adverse conditions.”

Robert Ludkin, committee member and Diss Town Council’s Health & Safety representative added: ““Last year we had no choice but to cancel the official event due to Covid – so I’m so pleased we were able to give the people of Diss the chance to get into the festive spirit once again this year – especially the children.

“Their faces as they saw Father Christmas arrive on his fire engine made it all worthwhile.”

Pictured from left: Bethan Marshall, Ben Langley and Liga King. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.
Pictured from left: Bethan Marshall, Ben Langley and Liga King. Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography 2021.

Chair of the Christmas Lights Committee, Suzanne Kayne, added: “After the disappointment of not having the Christmas lights switch-on in 2020, the committee was determined to put on a good show this year.

"And looking at the happy crowds gathered in the Market Place for the big switch, I think we did that. The event was extremely well-organised with everything planned down to a tee. And it went very well - despite the heavy rain, strong winds and the possibility of snow.

"Thank you to all the people of Diss and beyond who braved the elements and for Upp for their support and sponsorship this year.”



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