Festive Fantasies, the Uckfield magazine produced to promote late night shopping and raise funds towards providing the town’s Christmas lights, is now available.
It contains details of entertainment planned by the Chamber of Commerce for the evening of Friday, December 9, including a live Nativity in Elizabeth Gardens just off the High Street, Santa’s sleigh outside Bridge Cottage and singing performances by schoolchildren.
The magazine is being distributed to homes across Uckfield and more than 100 business people attending a Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday were urged to support the event too.
In the week that Christmas lights were switched on in Uckfield, Carvills director Mr Mark Arno, one of the organisers of the late night shopping event, said posters were now going up and a good evening out was promised.
He said: “Please come along and support the town. A lot of shops are more proactive than ever before and as well as entertainment there will be mulled wine, a hog roast, fire juggling, people offering food tastings, and even one hairdresser offering free haircuts.”
The Chamber meeting, held at Crockstead Farm Hotel, Halland, on Wednesday, November 23, was chaired by executive committee member Mr Adrian Corbin, of the Uckfield company Scientifica, who also reported on progress of organising Uckfield Business Awards.
He said Marco Pierre White’s Wheelers at The Chequers, Maresfield, had offered to host a launch party in February with the main awards ceremony taking place at the East Sussex National Hotel in November.
Six category sponsors had come forward so far and members of the executive committee were approaching other organisations asking for support.
Mr Corbin also reported on the success of two other Chamber events, a Meet the Chambers Conference held at the Buxted Park Hotel in October, which attracted 108 people from 12 Chambers across Sussex, and a members’ visit to Harveys Brewery in Lewes, which proved a great success.
Nine new members were welcomed at the meeting.
They include: Silverswift, private hire and chauffeur services; Jemtech UK, cutting fluids for engineering; Sussex Express newspaper; KIS Recruitment, professional recruitment; NFU Mutual Insurance, general insurance; Reeve Plumbing Solutions, plumbing and bathroom installations; Promus Solutions, management consultancy; Mailing Expert, mailing/doordrops/fulfilment and Hendall Manor Barns, venue for conferences and meetings.
An appeal was made for sponsors to support celebrations being held in Uckfield to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee on Monday, June 4, next year.
Mr Robert Thursfield, a member of the committee planning the event, said the bonfire society would be marching through town and there would be firework displays and a concert, with Uckfield FM, at the Victoria Pleasure Ground throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
Chamber president Mr Peter Gale, from Swindells accountants and tax specialists, told of an appeal for funds from the Uckfield Singers who have been invited by Thames Television to audition for Britain’s Got Talent at the beginning of December.
The choir has 83 members aged between 18 and 90 and is seeking £600 towards coach transport to London.
Mr Gale asked anybody interested in supporting the worthy cause to contact Chamber secretary Mr Ian Blackaller for more details.
Lynn Ashcroft, owner of the Crockstead Farm Hotel, was thanked for hosting the meeting and Kristy Cutler, equestrian events manager there, told Chamber members more about the hotel.
She said it had been taken over two years ago by successful businesswoman Lynn Ashcroft, who also owns two care homes.
Before that the hotel had been abandoned for three years and it took a year to get it back up and running.
There are three function suites for parties, corporate events and weddings and plenty of land for marquees.
The hotel is set in 200 acres of land and livery and equestrian facilities are offered. They include an Olympic-size indoor school and an outdoor arena. There are plans to build a cross country course.
The next Chamber of Commerce meeting is due to be held on Wednesday, January 25, at the East Sussex National Hotel.