Park rings with festive singing

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A JAMBOREE of festive songs brought the magic of Christmas to a Bognor Regis park.

Armed with wellies, torches and hats and gloves, hundreds of merrymakers packed into Hotham Park to stretch their vocal chords at the Hotham Park Heritage Trust’s annual Carols in the Park on December 8.

There may have been a chill in the air, but those enjoying the fun certainly left with a warm 
festive glow.

The crowd, which gathered around the park’s bandstand, was first treated to music from the Littlehampton Academy Steel Band.

The crescendo of Caribbean calypso music helped the crowd combat the cold as audience members could not help but tap their feet.

Chloe Kay, 67, of West Street said: “We come to the concert every year and hearing the music from the steel band has really added something special. The younger generation seem to like it too.”

Next it was the turn of the Chichester College band and the Glenwood Choir to entertain with some traditional yuletide tunes.

Festive favourites such as Away in a Manger, Little Donkey and The Twelve Days of Christmas filled the park with seasonal joy.

“It really gets you in the mood for Christmas celebrations, coming along to join in with the carols.

“It is definitely something the young and old can enjoy together. There are four generations of our family all here,” said Sophia Fellows, 19, who lives in Rose Green.

A rousing rendition of Deck the Halls accompanied by the steel band was given an encore, with Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer also coming back for a second time.

Fred McNally, 81, of North Bersted said: “It has been a very cold but very enjoyable evening. In the age of computers it is wonderful to see so many turn out to enjoy a more traditional event. Well done to everyone involved.”

The sing-song closed on a high note with an animated version of We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

The trust is grateful for the sponsorship it received from Turners Pies in Hawthorn Road, Sainsbury’s, Brandon Tool Hire and Bognor Regis Town Force, and the support it receives from Michael Rowland of Arun District Council.