Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Villagers mark start of Christmas season three times in one day

Villagers mark start of Christmas season three times in one day

THREE Christmas celebrations were held in Goring on one day.

Hundreds of residents flocked to the village centre for the festivities, which started with a Christmas market, entertainment and children’s activities at The Arcade off High Street.

This was organised by Vivienne Lee, owner of the Chocolate Café, which hosted Santa’s grotto in partnership with the Inspiration gift shop opposite.

Every child who visited was given a toy and later they were entertained with a Punch and Judy show and a performance by violinist Andy Taylor.

Later in the day, the Thames Valley taekwondo team set up crash mats and demonstrated throws and a crew from Goring fire station displayed their engine and let children climb inside.

There were dozens of stalls selling a range of gifts, mostly hand-made arts and crafts.

Baroness Buscombe of Goring, who is parliamentary under-secretary for work and pensions, was among those who visited.

She was helping to promote Small Business Saturday, an annual campaign to highlight the importance of independent traders.

Ms Lee, who staged cake decorating classes at her café, said: “It was an absolutely brilliant day with a fabulous atmosphere. The whole arcade was buzzing. It’s the first time we’ve done it on a Saturday daytime instead of having a late-night opening on the Friday. The businesses say they did well so it was great for the village.”

Meanwhile, the ninth annual Goring festive food fair took place at the village hall and was attended by hundreds of families.

It raised £1,500 towards the £40,000 renovation of the hall stage and the sound and lighting systems , which is expected to take place next year.

Twenty-four businesses from Goring or nearby, including the Goring Grocer, Pierreponts café and BumbleBee Cider, had stalls selling turkeys, cheeses, alcoholic drinks, preserves and other goods. The hall’s friends group sold homemade cakes, soup and hot drinks.

Organiser Sally Wicks said: “We’re incredibly pleased with how it went and I’m especially thankful to my volunteers who put so much time and effort into making and serving the food as well as clearing up afterwards.”

In the evening Santa returned to switch on the village’s Christmas tree lights in Rectory Gardens.

Vocal quartet The Remnants led the carol singing accompanied by the Goring and Streatley Concert Band, seven youngsters from the 1st Goring scouts and other singers from the village. Volunteers collected £120 for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

The tree was donated by Lord Iliffe of the Yattendon estate.

Organiser Bonnie Roberts, of the Goring Gap Business Network, said: “We had a large cast of participants and there was a real sense of community with about 250 people attending.

“Father Christmas was a particular favourite and the tree was truly magnificent. It was a great start to the festive season and we wish everyone in Goring a happy Christmas.”

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