No winners in Winter War

SaDTC Christmas tree

As the last single-use plastic cup is picked up from the streets in Smalltown Town Centre, signalling the end of the jointly organised yet totally separate Smalltown Chamber of Trade (SCOT) and the Smalltown Shops (SS) group’s Christmas Light Switch On A Winter War and We’ve got Reindeer event, SomersetClive has been speaking to residents to seek their opinions on the day.

It was a very long day, wasn’t it? It really dragged. I don’t know why anyone expected people to hang around Smalltown from dawn til dark, waiting for the lights to be switched on.” said Mr Steven Claus.

Absolute chaos. The road closures weren’t manned and I didn’t see a single advanced warning of road closure signs nor any ‘Road Ahead Closed’ notices on the day.” said Mrs Felicity Navidad.

*It seems quite strange to me. Other organisations who put on events in Smalltown have to comply with all sorts of regulations imposed by Sadgebore and the All-New-Yet-Unimproved Somerset councils, but for some reason the SS didn’t need to bother. Is that because Squire Teflon was one of the organisers?” asked Ms Chris Mass

Several residents also told us that they had planned to visit Smalltown to do some shopping, but when they discovered that Main Street was closed they headed to the supermarket instead.

However, it wasn’t all negative. Mr Nick o’Las told us “We really enjoyed our afternoon in George Street, watching the performances on the stage and waiting for the lights to be turned on. SCOT has pulled out all the stops again, they really know how to organise a Light Switch on event.”

That’s what this event is traditionally all about, isn’t it? The Smalltown folk gathered around the Christmas Tree, outside the George Hotel, drinking mulled cider, singing carols and joining in with the countdown.” agreed Mr Noel Edmonds.

Master Frederick C. Mass aged 4 and a half said “I loved it when Father Christmas arrived. He was superb, incredibly realistic – he could have been the real Santa – and the Reindeer were particularly delightful. I believe I’m correct in saying that charity fundraising group, The Smalltown Tigers, have a direct telephone line to Father Christmas and invited him along, and The George Hotel and Blitz Social Club brought the Reindeer along.”

After watching Headmistress and Mayor Cllr Kelsey Dullard turn on the lights the crowds excited chatter turned to stunned silence as they took in the display.

Three strings of lights across the street. Is that it? Seriously? They spent over £20,000 on that? How?” queried Mrs Susan Claus.

A couple of strings of lights in George Street and some fairy lights wrapped around the lampposts in Main Street. They may as well have not bothered. I can’t believe the waste of money.” ranted Mr Chris Cringle.

Pierre Noel added “Even the Christmas Light in Dullbridge looks better than this. It’s shameful.”

Do SCOT and the SS provide a detailed breakdown of all their costs? Do the businesses in Main Street contribute any money to the event? This seems like another one of those White Elephant type things where we residents are expected to be grateful to have our money spent on our behalf on totally rubbish things.”

Meanwhile, local betting shops are accepting wagers on how long it will be before some wag cuts the power to the SaDTC tree in Jetty Street. An accumulator is also on offer, with punters being asked to name the date that high winds in the exposed area of Jetty Street will cause the tree to blow over.

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