Christmas market pulls in the crowds

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One of the region’s favourite Christmas markets celebrated 15 years at the weekend, with bumper crowds turning out to see the festive entertainment and browse over 100 stalls.

The North Shields Victorian Christmas Market attracted thousands of festive shoppers to its traditional home of Northumberland Square, with good weather proving a bonus.

A bandstand featured local choirs and school children from around the borough singing Christmas carols.

Other entertainment included Morris dancing, street entertainment from the YMCA and Bill Brookman, a Punch and Judy show, live music, a small fairground for children, a falconry display and a chance to meet some alpacas.

Maggie Richardson, from the Christmas Market partnership, said: “Feedback from stallholders has been amazing, with many saying this market is amongst the best in the country with an extremely fun and friendly atmosphere – we can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

Coun Eddie Darke, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism at North Tyneside Council, said: “Once again the success of this market has surpassed the previous year.

“It was brilliant to have so many stall holders and visitors supporting the event; and we’d like to thank everyone involved for their support.”

The event is organised each year by a partnership including North Tyneside Council, the North Shields Chamber of Trade, the Beacon Shopping Centre, the YMCA, local churches and schools.

The event was supported this year by Tyne and Wear Metro, Kier North Tyneside and Capita.