Get ready for a very Wellington Christmas
*Event update – please read: The Think Big, Shop Local event originally planned for 12th December has been rescheduled to take place in the Spring, on 5th March (coinciding with Charter Day). Organiser Fay Easton apologises for any disappointment, but the change will allow more local makers and traders – currently busy with a series of festive events – to be involved.*
We’re barely into November, but the mince pies are in the supermarkets and the adverts are on the TV. You have to set out your festive offer early these days. So, Wellington H2A is launching a new Christmas Events Guide now – click here to see it. We’ve pulled it together fairly quickly and we’re not claiming it’s comprehensive, but it’ll remind people around Telford that Wellington can be a place worth visiting for a bit of Christmas spirit and Christmas shopping. Having designed it ourselves, we’re very grateful to Wellington Town Council for footing the printing costs – which mean 10,000 copies will be making their way around the area in the weeks ahead.
After several years of compiling and printing a Summer Events Guide, this is our first Christmas effort. We knew that there were two or three special festive markets organised this year, plus all the usual concerts, carol services and other one-off events, and that seemed like enough to warrant a Guide.
We’re particularly keen to spread the word about the markets, as they’ll be bringing a range of visiting food and craft makers into Wellington. And when those events are in the centre of the town – like the Victorian Market on 28th November – the atmosphere and footfall they generate should benefit the shops.
So as Christmas draws nearer, don’t allow yourselves to get tied up in arduous trips to the retail parks or stressful assaults on the supermarket, the festive melodies of Wizard and Slade ringing in your ears. Make time for something a bit more relaxing and a bit more atmospheric – searching out unique gifts at a makers’ market, enjoying a concert in a fine old church, tucking into a hog roast and mulled wine in the Market Square, or learning how to make your own evergreen wreath in a historic house. These are all things you can do in Wellington this year, so get the dates on your calendar.
It’s Saturday 28th November so I walked into Wellington centre about 11am, shopping bags in hand and extra cash in my purse, to enjoy the Victorian Market. What I found was – the usual (pathetic) monthly farmers market with fewer stalls than usual, one stall at the bottom of New Street (I hope the stallholder gets her money back), no sign of Leo’s Loco Circus and no sign of Wellington Brass Band. What happened?
I went down to take a look on Saturday as well, Sue. The general scene was a bit disappointing, I’d agree – apparently several stalls didn’t show, presumably deterred by the weather forecast. As a result there were gaps between the stalls set out in the small streets off the Square so it all looked a bit threadbare.
That said, maybe you didn’t take a look up those streets? There were seven or eight stalls in Duke Street and Crown Street (aside from the one you mentioned and the ones in the Square) – and the brass band were certainly playing. Maybe you walked through when they were on their break – which was unlucky, as they were there between 10am and midday. I also saw the circus guys up by The Raven, battling against the wind and rain but performing all the same.
I know this was the town council’s first attempt at an event like this, and I’m glad they tried, so there are certainly things they can learn for next year. If the weather IS going to undermine events like this, and without any central spaces for erecting big marquees (as at Ludlow’s and Wenlock’s festive events) it may be safest to try locating winter markets like this indoors in future. Plenty of time for them to plan for next year, at least.