Christmas countdown starts here

One of the beach hut stalls gets festive at the Christmas market
One of the beach hut stalls gets festive at the Christmas market

Hundreds flocked to last night’s market in Whitby to get into the festive spirit and kickstart the Christmas shopping.

The people of Whitby were out in force to support the Christmas market, organised by a local group of townspeople to give traders a winter boost and also to show off the vast range of unique products being made and sold in Whitby.

Crowds lined up at Dock End waiting for the event to get underway and to watch the official opening by the Mayor of Whitby, Cllr Heather Coughlan.

Children from West Cliff Primary School sang carols while the guest of honour, Santa, arrived on board Charlotte the Charabanc.

Throughout the last week local businesses, traders and artists had been setting up their stalls in the town’s beach huts after the borough council gave special permission for them to be put up on Endeavour Wharf.

From food stalls, to crafts, gifts and clothing there was something for everyone looking for special Christmas gifts.

Rain earlier in the day had disappeared by the time the market opened at 6pm and the show went on despite a temporary power cut later in the evening.

Mathew Brown from We Are Whitby told the Gazette: “We were in high spirits and rain wouldn’t have dampened them but it does make a difference. We are delighted with the turnout, it has been amazing and testament to the community that we live in.

“People have got behind the market, supported it and we are happy with it so far - it is lovely.”

Town councillor Sean Rixham-Smith was at the market with his young daughter Emily. He added: “It is a fantastic event and great for the town.”

The market is on twice as big a footprint as last year’s debut event and has attracted more stallholders wanting to get involved with artists, designers and local groups getting in on the action too.

Justin’s Chocolatiers were not trading last year but last night had a stall with fudge, chocolates and special deals for customers.

Melody Barton said: “We came for a look around last year but didn’t have a stall. It has been good so far.”

The market continues today (Friday) until 9pm tonight. It is on tomorrow from 10am-9pm and Sunday 10am-6pm.