Atmosphere was brilliant

It was hugely pleasing to see a tremendous turnout in Bakewell and to sense a wonderful Christmas atmosphere throughout the town on Saturday and Sunday, the start of our Christmas celebrations that will continue over the coming weeks.

At 4pm on Saturday crowds thronged the town centre to be welcomed by civic and church leaders and to see the official switch on of the Christmas Tree lights at Bath Gardens by Mickey Mouse and Tigger.

The town’s new LED Christmas lights set the scene beautifully for festive shopping. Wherever you look you will find traditional window displays, trees and lights and shops that invite and welcome further exploration.

In these difficult economic days shopping locally is something we can all do to boost our local economy and, for me, local shops with knowledgeable staff and the personal touch certainly have the edge over large, impersonal shopping malls. Bakewell’s businesses have a great deal to offer the discerning shopper and I am delighted to know that the majority of traders have already reported an exceptionally busy and successful weekend.

None of this would have been possible without the efforts of all those involved and through the Matlock Mercury I would like to thank the Bakewell Traders Group, the Town Council, Town Clerk, the Association of Bakewell Christians, District Councillors, Peak District National Park Authority, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Bakewell Show and, in particular, Sue Smethurst for her unflagging organisational energy and commitment to the success of an event that has brought together so many people and organisations with a genuine interest in our town.

I look forward to working with fellow councillors and local businesses in planning future events and, in particular, the celebration of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and, of course, Christmas 2012.

Cllr Frank Hall

Bakewell mayor