Late night shopping across the moor

Laura White
Laura White
Photograph Copyright – Lucy Fisher

A bustling Okehampton enjoys Edwardian Evening

The shops were packed and the weather was kind, as several hundred folk descended on Okehampton for the now traditional Edwardian Evening and Christmas lights ‘switch-on’ on the first Thursday in December.

The opening of the popular annual event was heralded by the ringing of Okehampton’s historic curfew bell which also signalled the ‘switching on’ of the Christmas lights by BBC Radio Devon presenter Matt Woodley, who grew up in Okehampton itself.

The many retailers who stayed open late into the evening and welcomed shoppers with nibbles and drinks were rewarded by a brisk trade while on the streets there was music, entertainment and attractions for everyone. The brightly-decorated Santa Sleigh, courtesy of Okehampton Round table, was a favourite draw with youngsters but it was the two real life reindeers, Prancer and Dancer from Cotley Farm in East Devon who stole the show in Red Lion Yard enthralling both young and old.

Okehampton Mayor Julie Yelland, accompanied by her mayoral entourage, generously posed for selfies as she visited every shop and stall throughout the evening while Entertainingly Different’s very own ‘Jack Frost’ (Rob Pudner) provided some interactive family friendly fun and even a little bit of snow!

Tavistock Dickensian Evening a success

Tavistock’s annual Dickensian Evening took place on Friday, 6th December, and has been hailed a success by organisers Tavistock BID. In a break from the tradition of previous years, the evening began with a lantern parade and community carol singing on Bedford Square.

The atmosphere in the town was magical, the town was buzzing with activity and the mix of entertainment proved to be popular. Janna Sanders, BID Manager, said: “We are so pleased with how Dickensian Evening went this year. The lantern parade and earlier community singing were lovely new additions to the evening – thanks to those who made the effort to take part. All in all, it was a great evening, one that really showcases our wonderful town, and we would like to thank everyone who came along to celebrate the festive season and to support our local businesses.”

Photograph copyright – Stuart Clarke

Since Chagford decided to change their late-night shopping from midweek to a Friday night, the event has been even more popular with locals and residents alike.

It is a fitting beginning to the festive period with the whole community joining together for hot hog roast baps from the butchers, mulled wine from the pubs and entertainment from school children and local talented singers and musicians.

This year the evening commenced with a procession from the church, followed by a performance by Chagford Primary School orchestra and choir. The Globe Singers performed wonderfully with their annual Christmas programme, Phillip Fowler was in full voice with his Christmas Golden Oldies and even Reverend Paul persuaded cold and tired shoppers to stay a bit longer and sing carols with him and local ex-auctioneer John Wood.

Music continued on into the evening and all the pubs were packed with people feeling the festive spirit.

Ashburton brimming with shoppers

Ashburton local retailers stayed open until quite late as the town heralded in Christmas on Thursday, 5th December.

North Street and the town hall area were brimming with market stalls, lights and music with many shops enticing shoppers over their threshold with  mulled wine, cider, seasonal food, gifts and drink a-plenty. The Ashburton Choir entertained the pre-Christmas crowds and Santa was in attendance to delight the youngsters.

Local Life