Santa arrives early for Christmas lights switch-on in Upper Parkstone

Bournemouth Echo: HO HO HO: Santa arrives at Ashley Road in Parkstone to switch on the Christmas lights HO HO HO: Santa arrives at Ashley Road in Parkstone to switch on the Christmas lights

HUNDREDS defied the heavy rain to take part in Upper Parkstone’s first Christmas lights celebrations in living memory.

The continuing downpour on Saturday evening did not stop the arrival of Santa in a 1947 pick-up truck.

Town crier David Squire then led the countdown to the moment when Santa turned on the lights on the Christmas tree outside St John’s Church.

An estimated 400 people flocked into the church, where there was entertainment from Swing Unlimited, singer Ria and carollers from Sylvan First School. Many more enjoyed hot chestnuts and mulled wine under a gazebo provided by Oswald Bailey.

Richard Wilson, chairman of the Ashley Road Traders Association, said: “I’m over the moon. We didn’t expect as many.

“This has proved a big hit. If this doesn’t bring the community together, I don’t know what will. It’s absolutely tremendous.”

St John’s vicar the Rev David Price said: “It’s great to be a church in the heart of the community.

“The church is supposed to be a beacon and it’s great to open the doors and have everybody in.”

Politicians across the parties have supported the traders’ efforts to put up lights on the main Christmas tree and on miniature trees on the front of shops.

Poole council cabinet member Cllr Judy Butt praised the traders association and said: “I was always confident that we’d have this fantastic turnout. The children are great attractions and they’ve brought their parents.”

Council leader Elaine Atkinson and Newtown councillor Brian Clements were among those backing the efforts.

Former residents' association leader Jeff Williams said he was ‘almost in tears’ to see illuminations finally happen.

Parkstone also became the first place in Dorset to have a tree with Christmas baubles made from recycled beach litter.

Matilda Bark of Dorset Coast Forum said the idea had been part of the Litter Free Coast and Sea Campaign. The organisation had been put in touch with Parkstone traders by Poole council.

“I think it’s probably the first in the country that’s had baubles made from recycled litter,” she said.

“Most of these were things like plastic bags and plastic from bottles.

“It’s fantastic what they’re doing here. They were very supportive of the campaign.”

Comments (5)

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1:10pm Mon 26 Nov 12

fixedthatforyou says...

Santa Claus is the English form of the Dutch, Sinterklaas. which is probably from the Easten European (Bulgarian) legend of a bishop who on the 6th of December went through the village passing out presents to children.
Father Christmas is the British figure who is active on the 25th of december. he is the physical embodiment of Christmas, more akin to jack frosts relationship with snow and ice than with the semi historical figure of Santa.
The easist way to tel them apart is traditonally Father Christmas has a beard and a red suit, he is also on the heavy side. Santa has normally been depicted wearing a mitre and being clean shaven, he also doesnt struggle with his weight.
In the US European legends and myths got mixed up and a sort of amalgam has occured in the last century.
We however are not in the US and should continue to refer to the jolly man in the red suit as Father Christmas.
Santa Claus is the English form of the Dutch, Sinterklaas. which is probably from the Easten European (Bulgarian) legend of a bishop who on the 6th of December went through the village passing out presents to children. Father Christmas is the British figure who is active on the 25th of december. he is the physical embodiment of Christmas, more akin to jack frosts relationship with snow and ice than with the semi historical figure of Santa. The easist way to tel them apart is traditonally Father Christmas has a beard and a red suit, he is also on the heavy side. Santa has normally been depicted wearing a mitre and being clean shaven, he also doesnt struggle with his weight. In the US European legends and myths got mixed up and a sort of amalgam has occured in the last century. We however are not in the US and should continue to refer to the jolly man in the red suit as Father Christmas. fixedthatforyou
  • Score: 0

1:26pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Jeff in Parkstone says...

It was a great evening - in face of the worst weather - geatest credit to Richard asnd Fay Wilson, St Johns Church, the Churchill pub, Cllrs and many other business people for putting together such a brilliant event ...

For the record however I am not fomer "head of the traders association" - a resident and pleased to have played a part this time last year in working through how to get Ashley moving and doing Christmas ...

Dancing in the streets next I hope - band in the central St Johns precinct in say June and an annual Parkstone dance competition/festival ...

yes we can ...

Jeff Williams

Upper Parkstone
It was a great evening - in face of the worst weather - geatest credit to Richard asnd Fay Wilson, St Johns Church, the Churchill pub, Cllrs and many other business people for putting together such a brilliant event ... For the record however I am not fomer "head of the traders association" - a resident and pleased to have played a part this time last year in working through how to get Ashley moving and doing Christmas ... Dancing in the streets next I hope - band in the central St Johns precinct in say June and an annual Parkstone dance competition/festival ... yes we can ... Jeff Williams Upper Parkstone Jeff in Parkstone
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Ebb Tide says...

Jeff in Parkstone wrote:
It was a great evening - in face of the worst weather - geatest credit to Richard asnd Fay Wilson, St Johns Church, the Churchill pub, Cllrs and many other business people for putting together such a brilliant event ...

For the record however I am not fomer "head of the traders association" - a resident and pleased to have played a part this time last year in working through how to get Ashley moving and doing Christmas ...

Dancing in the streets next I hope - band in the central St Johns precinct in say June and an annual Parkstone dance competition/festival ...

yes we can ...

Jeff Williams

Upper Parkstone
Of course you can but will you ?

Planning needs effort and collaboration - factors not very widespread in our Borough which seems to be mesmerised by the shortage of cash !! But then Ashley Road has always been special.

Let us hope the Ashley Road brand of "localism" is special too !! Vive la place de St John !!!!
[quote][p][bold]Jeff in Parkstone[/bold] wrote: It was a great evening - in face of the worst weather - geatest credit to Richard asnd Fay Wilson, St Johns Church, the Churchill pub, Cllrs and many other business people for putting together such a brilliant event ... For the record however I am not fomer "head of the traders association" - a resident and pleased to have played a part this time last year in working through how to get Ashley moving and doing Christmas ... Dancing in the streets next I hope - band in the central St Johns precinct in say June and an annual Parkstone dance competition/festival ... yes we can ... Jeff Williams Upper Parkstone[/p][/quote]Of course you can but will you ? Planning needs effort and collaboration - factors not very widespread in our Borough which seems to be mesmerised by the shortage of cash !! But then Ashley Road has always been special. Let us hope the Ashley Road brand of "localism" is special too !! Vive la place de St John !!!! Ebb Tide
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Mon 26 Nov 12

Morrigan says...

fixedthatforyou wrote:
Santa Claus is the English form of the Dutch, Sinterklaas. which is probably from the Easten European (Bulgarian) legend of a bishop who on the 6th of December went through the village passing out presents to children.
Father Christmas is the British figure who is active on the 25th of december. he is the physical embodiment of Christmas, more akin to jack frosts relationship with snow and ice than with the semi historical figure of Santa.
The easist way to tel them apart is traditonally Father Christmas has a beard and a red suit, he is also on the heavy side. Santa has normally been depicted wearing a mitre and being clean shaven, he also doesnt struggle with his weight.
In the US European legends and myths got mixed up and a sort of amalgam has occured in the last century.
We however are not in the US and should continue to refer to the jolly man in the red suit as Father Christmas.
Father Christmas has only worn the now traditional red coat sine the 1930's after a fierce advertising campaign by the Coca cola company.

Prior to that and for several hundred years he was known as wearing a green coat and was originally based on an old Pagan figure called "Old Winter".

Old Winter is said to have given gifts of fruit and vegetables to poor people on Dec 25th, rather than toys for children - hence why until the 1970's (when the tradition seems to have died out) many children had nuts, apples and oranges in their Christmas stocking :o)
[quote][p][bold]fixedthatforyou[/bold] wrote: Santa Claus is the English form of the Dutch, Sinterklaas. which is probably from the Easten European (Bulgarian) legend of a bishop who on the 6th of December went through the village passing out presents to children. Father Christmas is the British figure who is active on the 25th of december. he is the physical embodiment of Christmas, more akin to jack frosts relationship with snow and ice than with the semi historical figure of Santa. The easist way to tel them apart is traditonally Father Christmas has a beard and a red suit, he is also on the heavy side. Santa has normally been depicted wearing a mitre and being clean shaven, he also doesnt struggle with his weight. In the US European legends and myths got mixed up and a sort of amalgam has occured in the last century. We however are not in the US and should continue to refer to the jolly man in the red suit as Father Christmas.[/p][/quote]Father Christmas has only worn the now traditional red coat sine the 1930's after a fierce advertising campaign by the Coca cola company. Prior to that and for several hundred years he was known as wearing a green coat and was originally based on an old Pagan figure called "Old Winter". Old Winter is said to have given gifts of fruit and vegetables to poor people on Dec 25th, rather than toys for children - hence why until the 1970's (when the tradition seems to have died out) many children had nuts, apples and oranges in their Christmas stocking :o) Morrigan
  • Score: 0

9:27am Fri 30 Nov 12

shelfstacker says...

Now all the self congratulatory back slapping has subsided, has anyone actually taken the time to visit Ashley Road after dark (a scary notion I know, it's bad enough during the daytime), to look at these illuminations?

Whilst I'll agree that it's great the Ashley Road and it's local businesses get some media coverage off the back of this, the actual lights themselves are an embarrassment.

Half a dozen ropey looking trees hanging precariously off the sides of buildings, with a couple of strings of cheap lights seemingly chucked over them - it's not really going to worry the likes of Bournemouth, Westbourne or Wimborne who's councils actually have a proper budget put aside for this type of thing and do an excellent job of it every year.

To me it just highlights what a disgrace the Ashley Road has become due to countless years of neglect by Poole Council.

A few scrappy looking trees provided by funds from the pockets of local struggling traders isn't going to add much polish to the area, and I doubt this exercise will generate any extra sales this Christmas period, which of course should always be the aim of such marketing efforts (...though I get the impression this is another example of certain self appointed association chairmen/busy bodies just wanting to tell other people what to do whilst getting their faces in the paper again, when they should really be concentrating on keeping their own businesses afloat - no names mentioned :-)

I say to Poole Council why don't you sort the area out this Christmas? It wouldn't cost much to have some professional lights put up on the lamp posts, Ashley Road is a lovely long straight road and done properly the lights could look stunning. Might mean a few of you have to take a hit on your Christmas bonuses though!”
Now all the self congratulatory back slapping has subsided, has anyone actually taken the time to visit Ashley Road after dark (a scary notion I know, it's bad enough during the daytime), to look at these illuminations? Whilst I'll agree that it's great the Ashley Road and it's local businesses get some media coverage off the back of this, the actual lights themselves are an embarrassment. Half a dozen ropey looking trees hanging precariously off the sides of buildings, with a couple of strings of cheap lights seemingly chucked over them - it's not really going to worry the likes of Bournemouth, Westbourne or Wimborne who's councils actually have a proper budget put aside for this type of thing and do an excellent job of it every year. To me it just highlights what a disgrace the Ashley Road has become due to countless years of neglect by Poole Council. A few scrappy looking trees provided by funds from the pockets of local struggling traders isn't going to add much polish to the area, and I doubt this exercise will generate any extra sales this Christmas period, which of course should always be the aim of such marketing efforts (...though I get the impression this is another example of certain self appointed association chairmen/busy bodies just wanting to tell other people what to do whilst getting their faces in the paper again, when they should really be concentrating on keeping their own businesses afloat - no names mentioned :-) I say to Poole Council why don't you sort the area out this Christmas? It wouldn't cost much to have some professional lights put up on the lamp posts, Ashley Road is a lovely long straight road and done properly the lights could look stunning. Might mean a few of you have to take a hit on your Christmas bonuses though!” shelfstacker
  • Score: 0

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