Soham sparkles as Christmas illuminations and fireworks light up town’s festive fair

The Rev Eleanor Whalley, priest-in-charge, reading the Christmas story to youngsters at Sohams St Andrews Church at Fridays Christmas fair.
The Rev Eleanor Whalley, priest-in-charge, reading the Christmas story to youngsters at Sohams St Andrews Church at Fridays Christmas fair.

Soham’s Christmas lights were switched on at the weekend with a record number of youngsters meeting Father Christmas.

Joining Santa Claus were the two winners of the children’s story writing competition, Beniah Cardell and Poppy Stephens, who had the honour of throwing the switch which saw the illuminations go on and also triggered a firreworks display.

Maya Stolarz and Amelia Zablocka with Father Christmas and one of his elves at his grotto in St Andrews Church

Maya Stolarz and Amelia Zablocka with Father Christmas and one of his elves at his grotto in St Andrews Church

The Christmas Fair saw hundreds flock into the town to enjoy the free fairground rides, put on by the town council, which had to open an hour earlier than expected to cope with the demand.

Fair goers also had the chance to buy essential Christmas presents in St Andrew’s Church, where over 40 market stalls were set up by local craftsmen and women.

The church also hosted Santa’s grotto, where children were able to chat with Father Christmas. Behind the white beard was Charles Warner, chairman of the Soham Heritage and Tourism organisation which organised the event.

“It was hard work,” said Mr Warner, who is also a Soham town councillor. “We had a record number of children go through the grotto, with about 120 coming to speak to Father Christmas.

Amelie and Hattie Roberts, from Red Lodge, and Olivia and Beth Wright, from Soham, enjoying one of the rides

Amelie and Hattie Roberts, from Red Lodge, and Olivia and Beth Wright, from Soham, enjoying one of the rides

“It was a fantastic event. The church was absolutely packed and it really brought the community together.”