There was a real sense of joie de vivre in the Bury Free Press newsroom at the end of last week and it reflected a mood that seemed to take over the whole of Bury St Edmunds.
The Christmas Fayre is not a new event – this was the tenth – but there seemed to be something special about it this year, it created a buzz that I’d not experienced before.
Several colleagues took the opportunity of spending their Friday (extended) lunch hour to have an early look at what was on offer, and all seemed impressed.
“There’s a sausage from every part of the world,” said one reporter, clearly enthused by the array of food stalls on offer throughout the town.
Another (senior) colleague couldn’t wait until Friday and spent Thursday evening watching the children’s parade and soaking in the atmosphere, which even inspired her to take a ride on the carousel . . . and not a grandchild in sight.
What struck me as I wondered around – my route determined by the thickness of the crowds – was the entrepreneurial spirit amongst the myriad of stallholders and traders. Nearly every one was a small business or one-man-band and each had a unique product or service in which they clearly believed.
And with the town’s shops and businesses also making a huge effort, there was an almost tangible energy about the place.
Visitors were clearly having good time and, if the queue of folk withdrawing cash at the bank was anything to go by, I think traders also enjoyed a great weekend.
Congratulations to Sharon Fairweather and her team for the organisation this year – a top job.
-- I spotted my first ‘domestic’ Christmas tree of the year as I walked the dog through the village early on Sunday morning. There it was, blinking colourfully at me out of a front room window as the sun rose on December 1. I went home and commented on it to my wife and I thought we agreed that it was a bit early – a tree sitting in our central heating for more than a month would be looking a bit sad and bare by Twelfth Night. So I was a bit surprised when, later that same day as we visited a garden centre, she suggested we buy a Christmas tree . . . my response wasn’t very festive!