Breaking news: Spalding Christmas market to go ahead on Sunday

A happy scene from last year's Christmas market in Spalding.
A happy scene from last year's Christmas market in Spalding.
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Spalding will have its Christmas market this Sunday with more than 40 stalls and a funfair expected to be in town.

Moments ago Spalding town centre manager Dennis Hannant said Lincolnshire County Highways had given consent for the market to be held on December 6.

The market was cancelled last Sunday because of a weather forecast warning of high winds and rain.

Normally it would take 13 weeks to get consent for the streets to close to traffic and Mr Hannant is delighted the decision has come through so quickly.

He said some stallholders booked for the original event won’t be able to attend because they have engagements elsewhere, but he is glad that Spalding will have its Christmas market because he wants to see it grow year by year.

Monday: Spalding could completely lose its Christmas street market for 2015 after organisers pulled the plug on the event due to take place yesterday (Sunday).

Spalding town centre manager Dennis Hannant will be in talks with council officials tomorrow (Tuesday), and admits scrapping the Christmas market altogether is one of three options being considered.

Mr Hannant says rescheduling for another Sunday “could be difficult due to the time required (13 weeks) to notify the public of road closures”.

The only other possibility being looked at is beefing up one of Spalding’s normal Saturday markets so Christmas stalls could be sited at Bridge Street, Red Lion Quarter and Sheep Market.

The Christmas market was called off shortly before 6.30pm on Saturday when Mr Hannant sent an email out saying the decision had been taken due to forecast high winds, with 30-45mph gusts, and rain.

Meanwhile the Sunday Christmas market went ahead in Sleaford, around 25 miles away.

Christmas florist Paul Foyster was planning to have a stall at Spalding’s Christmas market and says – as things turned out – the weather was okay and it could have gone ahead.

He said: “I am really cross at the Met Office, especially all this about calling little storms names because it tends to frighten people.

“We have stood on markets that have been in weather a lot worse than that of Sunday in Spalding.”

He’s also disappointed to learn the market may not go ahead at all, there may be a 13 week wait or the Christmas stalls could join up with a Saturday market.

“Obviously there’s no point in having it in 13 weeks’ time,” he said. “It’s not exactly going to be a Christmas market. If they are going to do it, I would have thought they would need to do it on a Sunday because there’s also the question of entertainment. The ordinary market in Spalding isn’t terribly entertaining.”

Mr Foyster said any traders with perishable stock planning to attend Spalding’s Christmas market would be out of pocket – and it’s not unknown for them to lose hundreds of pounds when a market is cancelled.

He and wife Sue will be attending the Holbeach Christmas market this Sunday. If Spalding’s event had been switched to the same day, the couple would have tried to cover both events.

Spalding florists Flowers ‘n’ Things opened specially on Sunday for the Christmas market, having planned their staffing in advance, and learned off the cancellation too late to change anything.

Partner Anna Avery said trade was “quiet”.

She said: “There were a few people in the coffee shop. Several people enjoyed lunch and mulled wine.

“It was disappointing but you can’t blame anyone, can you?

“We have had windier days, haven’t we? It was unfortunate.”

She said Flowers ‘n’ things won’t open again for a rescheduled Christmas market although it will open on the last Sunday before Christmas, December 20.

One Spalding Guardian reader told us she was disappointed Sunday’s event didn’t go ahead.

She said: “Lincoln has a Christmas market but I want to attend one in my home town. I love our Christmas market.”