Light-up ballerinas, giant stilt-walkers dressed as baubles, balloon-modelling elves, clowns, jugglers and Father Christmas himself- it’s safe to say that it was no normal Saturday afternoon for North End Market this week.
Building on the success of last year’s Christmas market and the summer market in June that attracted 15,000 visitors, stall holders took to the street to kick off the festive season in the borough’s most popular market.
“Residents have told us how much they enjoyed the range of stalls and the atmosphere at our previous traffic-free markets in North End Road so we’re doing it twice for Christmas,” said Cllr Andrew Jones, the council’s cabinet member for economic development and regeneration.
“No buses, lorries or cars – just fantastic stalls with loads of Christmas presents, lots to eat and festive entertainment.”
The Christmas markets are part of Hammersmith and Fulham council’s drive, together with the North End Road Action Group, to revive the high street.
Hundreds descended on North End Road to see Made In Chelsea TV star Louise Thompson turn on the Christmas lights and enjoy the stalls of the annual Christmas market. As well as the usual fruit and vegetable stalls there were more than 100 new stalls, offering festive gifts, mulled wine, hand-made decorations, cakes, street food and more.
“I wish the market was like this every day!” , exclaimed local resident Siobhan Merrifield, wiping her mouth. “This falafel is amazing! It’s so nice to see the high street so busy”.
The recently formed Fulham based group West End Musical Choir treated the market goers to a medley of Christmas songs, and the group organiser Charlie Morrisson described the performance as a “fantastic success”.
“We’re so proud of everyone who sang today, as this was our first performance” she said. “We will be back on the 12th December!”