Sidmouth traders excel in Christmas window contest

Clear winners in Sidmouth’s best decorated Christmas shop window contest

THERE were four clear winners in this year’s Christmas decorated window competition between Sidmouth traders.

Held jointly by Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce and the Sidmouth Herald, three judges assessed and independently marked 15 businesses who entered this year’s competition.

Armed with clipboards, Chamber president Derek Parry, town council chairman, Councillor Stuart Hughes and Herald news editor, Diana Bowerman, walked around the town centre on Thursday and marked each display on such criteria as Christmas spirit, use of trade items and use of lighting.

There were clear winners in each section, with Fields of Sidmouth receiving the title for best decorated large window, and No 83 for Cards, High Street, gaining the small window’s title.

Runners up were Delderfields (large window), dressed by Rebekah Craig, and Eight’s a Wish, small window, dressed by Barry Curwen’s wife Becky.

The winners received a glass trophy to display for the year and a bottle of champagne, while runners-up were given a bottle of wine and tin of biscuits.

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Tracy Symonds, 48, has worked part-time as Fields’ window dresser for five years and is delighted to win the award.

Judges were impressed with her use of blue sparkling backdrops and bundles of lighting across the store’s frontage.

She said: “It takes two weeks to dress 12 windows and I can be a lot more creative working for Fields.”

Tracy, who has also worked for Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, introduced her own Christmas window scheme four years ago, after previously contracting an outside company for props. She also dresses Monday’s Child windows.

Penny Newland of No 83 for Cards said: “I thought I would keep it simple, with traditional red, gold and green.

“I’m very pleased to have won and be part of making the town look pretty and inviting for people to enjoy shopping in.”

Judge Derek Parry said: “As a whole, the town is looking excellent and a lot of shopkeepers have clearly put a lot of thought and effort into their window displays.

“Certainly the prize winners very neatly combined seasonal display with trade display very cleverly and some of the lighting was very original.”