Christmas Festival in Old Town

Chilly winds might swirl but nothing stopped the Old Town Christmas Festival at the weekend.

Saturday, 8th December 2007, 2:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:23 pm

It was cold, wet and blustery, but inside the Manor Barn the atmosphere was was once of warmth and fun, as children and adults enjoyed the entertainment on offer safe from the ravages of the Great British weather.

The festivities started off with Father Christmas driving through Old Town from Peterhouse to the Manor Barn on a sleigh pulled by three reindeer - Sky, Angel and Gabriel - following Bobo the Penguin, who was showing off his dancing skills and stopping taffic in the high street.

Father Christmas and the reindeer were then safely installed in the log cabin home specially created in the gardens, and waited for visitors to arrive to socialise and have their photographs taken in the sleigh.

Santa's little helper,Calvin Carrick, however, went inside the Manor Barn and joined the noisy throng of children who were strapping on ski boots and mini-skis and having enormous fun on the white ski astro turf, ski-ing their way up and down little ramps and whizzing along the length of the room.

Bobo's ski-track was intended to be outside in the car park, but, as the penguin confided to the Observer, the decision was made to bring it indoors for the safety and comfort of the children.

Old Town Preservation Society member Paul Clark said: "It has worked out pretty well. When I first saw it in here I thought - oh Blimey! And wondered if it was going to entertain the children, but it has been good."

There was plenty on offer for the youngsters who came along to the Festival, as Hastings dad Lee Martell found when he came with his daughters Ellie, 8, Megan 6, and Jodie, 5.

"It was a bit quiet when we were there," said Lee, "but we enjoyed it - it was very good. They were in the Surestart tent making Christmas decorations. I thought Surestart did a brilliant job."

It was definitely nippy inside the Surestart tent, but everyone ignored the cold and got on with job in hand - making Christmas trees, snowmen, boots and stars out of felt and sparkles.

In there was Greta Willett, Sue Hatherall, Jen March and Linda Locke.

Greta commented: "It has been amazing. The parents really are brilliant, the way they brave the elements and bring their children to enjoy the fun - and they really do love it."

Sue added: "I have been been amazed at how many people have been, considering the weather. But the children enjoy doing the different Christmas crafts."

Other attractions included a dance display by pupils of Janice Blake dance studio, story telling by Rob Parkinson, and a carol concert by St Peter's church choir and Hooe Village Band, with on Sunday a nativity by pupils of King Offa primary school.