Crowds turn out for Christmas festivities

AROUND 500 people turned out to watch Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman turn on Ferring’s Christmas lights.

The Worthing Salvation Army Band performed and a choir serenaded the crowd on a crisp December night in Ferring Street, Ferring.

Carole Robertson, chairman of Ferring Parish Council, said: “We were amazed last year and we were even more amazed this year. It was great to see so many people and they really enjoyed it. We had an incredibly successful table top sale and we were so lucky with the weather.”

A hospital housekeeper has turned the outside of her house into a Christmas-themed spectacle to raise money for Worthing Hospital’s League of Friends.

Eileen Forster, 46, of Sackville Way, Worthing, has raised around £200 since November 28 and will continue receiving bucket collections until January 5.

Mother-of-four Eileen said: “People say it’s getter better every year. I know there’s a lot out there bigger and better but I try my best to do it every year. The neighbours love it and the kids from the school across the road (Springfield First School) love it. I hear them singing Christmas songs when they come out.”

Eileen said she will continue putting lights up until she can no longer climb a ladder. “I’ve got four girls,” said Eileen. “The older ones think it’s a little bit embarrassing but when they were small they loved it.”

Another home that has been given the festive treatment in aid of charity belongs to Mark and Debbie Scott, who live in Windermere Crescent, Durrington. Last year, the Scotts raised £482.10, and this year they are hoping to top it. The display, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, is on from 4pm until 10pm every day and will light up the road until the New Year.

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There were cakes galore and children in Christmas jumpers at the English Martyrs Primary School Christmas Fair.

The annual event, which was opened by Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman, raised £1,276 for the school.

Rachael Dines, Friends of English Martyrs secretary, said: “It went really well. We had lots of people come and the residents supported it. We had really long queues for Santa’s grotto, which is great.

“The cold weather didn’t spoil the outside barbecue, where hot dogs and burgers were being cooked and sold to raise additional funds.”

More than 200 cakes were donated to the fair and so many bottles were handed in that there were not enough raffle tickets for the bottle tombola. Pupils wore their Christmas jumpers once again on Friday for Save The Children’s official Christmas Jumper Day.

For the second year running, the Christmas Fayre at Clapham and Patching Village Hall was a great success. Proceeds from the fayre will go to Haviland House – the new Guild Care Dementia Home, and to the local Community Shop project serving the villages.

One of the organisers, Gail Smith, said: “Who needs to go to a foreign Christmas market when there is so much local craftwork on offer?”

We hope to make our Christmas Fayre an annual event.”