‘Fight the good fight with all thy might’ - Vince Page

Sidmouth Late Night Shopping, 2020 Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth Late Night Shopping, 2020 Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Picture: Alex Walton

Vince Page, of Antiques on High, writes for the Herald.

Bianca Beavis, 14, sings some festive songs during Sidmouth Late Night Shopping, 2020 Picture: Alex

Bianca Beavis, 14, sings some festive songs during Sidmouth Late Night Shopping, 2020 Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

‘Fight the good fight with all thy might’ may be the opening line to a hymn written in the mid 18 hundreds but it was very obviously the attitude of many businesses who stayed open last week for late night shopping having just endured another month-long lockdown courtesy of Covid 19.

Well known during the season for its almost legendary ice cream the popular café Taste put on a hog roast outside their premises in Old Fore street serving hot food whilst a few yards away, a socially-distanced group of the Sidmouth Town band added to the atmosphere providing superb renditions of all the traditional Christmas Carols we know and love.

Keeping the town alive at the other end of Old Fore street was the familiar sound of Cameron Lemmer with his popular playlist of heart-warming classics.

In past years, late night opening has become rather an event admirably assisted by the local Chamber of Commerce with all manner of sideshows around the town to entice visitors to venture in for a one night special.

Old Fore Street during this year's late night shopping event. Picture: Vince Page

Old Fore Street during this year's late night shopping event. Picture: Vince Page - Credit: Archant


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Although this December had a degree of inevitability about the reduced numbers due to the current pandemic, those independent stores that took part should be congratulated for the effort they put in.

Sharon Hobson of Flutterbys gifts in Fore Street said: “We stayed open until around 7.30pm as did many of the other stores that took part and I was pleasantly surprised to find we were busier than expected, which did help having had such a long day.”

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Having just come out of a nationwide lockdown, the consensus of opinion seems to be that although visitor numbers were reduced, it was still a worthwhile exercise.

Being made of stern stuff at Antiques on High in Fore Street we stayed open until 8pm and had 22 people through our doors after 5pm with our last customer leaving the store at ten to eight.

Sidmouth Town Band played in the town centre during the late night shopping event. Picture: Vince Pa

Sidmouth Town Band played in the town centre during the late night shopping event. Picture: Vince Page - Credit: Archant

As we edge closer to 2021 the thriving metropolis of the High Street now calls upon you to shop local.

Sidmouth late night shopping 2020. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth late night shopping 2020. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Picture: Alex Walton

Cameron Lemmer sings in Market Place during Sidmouth Late Night Shopping Picture: Alex Walton

Cameron Lemmer sings in Market Place during Sidmouth Late Night Shopping Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Picture: Alex Walton

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