After meeting with Marion Green, a member of The Newmarket Retailers Association, I was invited to switch on the Christmas lights on the 7th December with our Mayor Councillor Michael Jeffereys.
'This invitation is offered in recognition of your achievement in promoting Newmarket by your own initiative'
I can't tell you how surprised and delighted I was to receive their invitation. The 7th December must have been the coldest night ever, -7 degrees. This unfortunately meant Father Christmas, The Mayor and myself drove through the streets in a bull-nosed open top Morris, supplied by Bill McLean a member of Newmarket car club at the last minute. Plans to travel in a horse-drawn 1840s mail coach donated for the occasion by The Newmarket Horse Racing Museum had to be abandoned on the day, when the white horses that would draw the carriage couldn't travel from Norfolk in such conditions. I don't think it was any warmer in the car, but sadly many people had come to see the carriage and horses and were disappointed as they didn't notice the car carrying Santa, travelling much quicker. Thanks to Bill Mclean for coming to the rescue. The carols were sung, the speeches were given and the lights were switched on by me. We were frozen to the core and warmed by the community spirit. It was a fun evening, thank you Newmarket.