Emsworth gets its own lob-star at Christmas lights switch-on

Alishia Williams, eight, and mum Chantelle Williams switch on the lobster pot Christmas tree 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151951-6)

Alishia Williams, eight, and mum Chantelle Williams switch on the lobster pot Christmas tree 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151951-6)

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THE lob-star shone brightly as a community gathered in their hundreds to usher in the festive season.

Emsworth Square and the harbourfront became a magical, winter wonderland last night as the town was bathed in festive light.

Daisy Keery, eight, and her brother Derek, seven, meet Father Christmas 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151951-7)

Daisy Keery, eight, and her brother Derek, seven, meet Father Christmas 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151951-7)

The highlight was the tree that everyone has been talking about – the lobster pot Christmas tree.

Volunteers have built a Christmas tree on Emsworth quay out of 60 lobster pots.

Each of the pots has been sold by Emsworth Business Association and, when the tree is taken down, they will be given to local fishermen Pete Williams and Kelvin Cole after their pots were destroyed in the bad weather last year.

They are the only local fishermen left of the town’s once-thriving fishing community.

From left, Marina Benini with her son Arturo, two,Helen Armstrong and her daughter Abigail Smith, seven. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151951-1)

From left, Marina Benini with her son Arturo, two,Helen Armstrong and her daughter Abigail Smith, seven. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (151951-1)

Last night there were cheers as the lobster pot Christmas tree – as well as a traditional Christmas tree in the Square – were lit up.

Emsworth’s youngest school age resident, four-year-old Todd Jones, and one of the town’s oldest residents, Tedd Shannon, joined the Mayor of Havant, Leah Turner, to switch on the lights.

The children’s faces were a picture of excitement as Father Christmas arrived to take a seat in his grotto.

Jackie Branson, from Havant Rotary Club, which supports the event, said: ‘It’s always a great event.

‘It’s the community spirit. Emsworth has it all the way through the year but especially at Christmas time.’

Regarding the town having two trees, Lulu Bowerman, one of the event’s organisers, said: ‘Emsworth has been very spoilt this year. It’s got a double dose of Christmas!’

She added: ‘We hope that people will come down and have their photograph taken with the Christmas tree.

‘Lots of people have got their Christmas trees outside their shops and lots in their windows. People get involved here.

‘It’s been a really good atmosphere and there’s a great traditional feel about it. It’s a great community event and always has been and always will be.’

A carol service was led by the Rev Julie Price and featured some wonderful singing from Emsworth’s primary schools.

On the quay there were a range of festive market stalls, with music provided by the Emsworth Concert Band.

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