Monday, November 10, 2008

A Sackful of Santas?

Regular readers of this blog may recall that this time last year I had a Victor Meldrew moment when I learned that there was to be no Santa in the Cornmill for Christmas 2007. Via the comments column, may of you agreed that this was an own goal for the town.

So I'm delighted to announce that Santa (magically, of course) will somehow be in 3 separate Darlington town centre locations in 2008 at the same time - The Cornmill, The Market Grotto and Queen Street. Naturally, there won't be 3 different Santas, because as every 5-year old knows, that would be wrong and just plain silly.

It looks like Santa will start listening to all the good boys and girls from the beginning of December - your best chance of catching him at several of the locations will be on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Children wanting to write to Santa can drop off their letters at the Tourist Information Centre in the Dolphin Centre - it will cost £1.50 to get a reply, and letters need to be posted by 12th December.

There's plenty more going on too: -

November 23rd. Christmas Lights swith-on, 3pm - 4.30pm. New lights will be on show for the first time, covering the town clock and the historic yards.

November 27th & December 4th from 12pm to 8pm. Christingle Markets to coincide with late shopping days on Thursdays.

December 11th - 14th. Winter Wonderland Market. A great time to pick up all your Christmas essentials. The 4-day event will see a double marquee in the Market Square filled with stalls and entertainment, including carol singing.

As more news about Christmas in Darlington becomes available, I'll post it here.


30th November. Hurworth Christmas Fair, The Grange, Hurworth. A "proper" village fair, with lots of stalls, lovely hot refreshments and Santa (TBC)

6th December - 18th January. Darlington Civic Theatre's giant pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk comes to town, starring Ian Reddington (Coronation Street's Vernon), Boogie Pete, (Pete Hillier from CBeebies) and the hilarious Charlie Cairoli. Tickets are from £11 - £18.50, make sure you don't miss out, book your tickets NOW on 01325 486555.

(NB Nick's note - I'm guessing that's Charlie Cairoli jnr - the 1970's TV clown legend died in 1980).


Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes.

I hate to be cast as Ebineezer Scrooge or Victor M, but people are having a real hard time of it, worrying about their jobs, worrying if they have enough money to pay their bills and heat their homes and if they can still afford to have a roof over their heads.

The number of people being made bankrupt is very high indeed and growing by the day. Take a look at the County Court lists in the Northern Echo. Each one represents a human tragedy. Remember the scenes shown during the American elections recently of the tented villages in America where people who have lost their homes now live. That the reality. Christmas is way down the list of priorities at the moment for lots of people. Me included.

An economist on Radio 4 tonight predicted that when the mortgate rate cuts and the predicted tax cuts work their way through people will not spend the windfall as the Government predicts to kick start the economy but will put the extra money into the bank or use it to pay off debts. He also said that when the economy recovers taxes will have to go up again.

It scares me that the Government are borrowing to fund the tax cuts. Have they not learnt anything? Sooner or later all the Government borrowing will have to be paid back to someone and we are saddling future generations with debt.

So Nick I don't really feel very Chrstmasy.

Ian White said...

Hi Nick

He will of course once again also be making an appearance at Hurwroth Grange Community Centres Chrismas Gala on Sunday November 30th as he did last year when you opened it for us.


I also agree with your comments that many are struggling, but coming to our gala is free there is a live band and all are welcome and it may put a bit of Christmas cheer back into those who are feeling the pinch.

Anonymous said...


I was very alarmed this morning driving down a road in Darlington I use on a weekly basis. Since last week 7 (seven) houses have come up for sale. It is a percieved wealthy area within the town. This re-iterates the damage that has been done by the credit crunch.

Having had recently a love/hate relationship with all politicians, I am convinced that Gordon Brown is the man to lead us through this down turn.

On a personal note if I may.
Can I wish you well in your journey to become an MEP. (read it in the Northern Echo this morning). You strike me as an affable, competent and broad shouldered guy and worthy of promotion.

Darlington Councillor said...

Many thanks for your kind comment, anonymous. Interestingly, a lot of people are coming round to Gordon Brown again in the light of his handling of the credit crunch - the Times' opinion poll is the latest bit of evidence of this, although I also found when I canvassed in Berwick that people who had never voted Labour before were thinking about voting for us in the next General Election exactly on this point.

Ian - thanks for your comment, and I'll put the Hurworth Xmas Fair on the blog post.

Alan - yes, times are hard, but if we all retreat into our shells, the economy really will suffer. As for fudning tax cuts, well I'll make the point I made here a little while ago - borrowing to avoid a deep recession seems to me to be entirely sensible, as the money can be repaid in better times.

Slashing current spending to fuel tax cuts however, seem the height of folly, as inevitably this would put a lot of public servants on the dole, with the inevitable burden on benefit levels, house repossessions and the like.

Meanwhile the Tories this morning promised an earthquake but delivered a mouse as far as their proposals are concerned. Another nail in George Osbourne's coffin.

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes.....

Thank you for that Nick. Getting people to spend will be very difficult indeed. I think people have been burnt over the last few months and will be prudent with their finances.

I am profoundly worried about the borrowing to fund tax cuts which will have to be repaid. What happens if the economy doesn't recover? What happens? The country will default on its payments and then who will run the economy?

What anoys me no end is this situation was not forseen. Plans were not made in the good times or if they were made they were deficient. Money was not put aside for a rainy day.

The Government keeps preaching about business continuity, but it does not appear that it practiced what it preached. Alastair Darling said last summer that our economy was capable of withstanding a recession and it will not be as bad as elsewhere. That is balderdash. Informed opinion point to the recession in the UK being worse.

I would concede that it is right to try to solve the problems by international co-operation.

One of the good things to come out of a very dark situation is the customer is now the king and he or she can pick and chose what to buy at the prices which they can afford.

What's so wrong with reining back Government expenditure? Government like oall organisations should be lean and fit.