Flashback Friday: Dr Who star turns on town’s Christmas lights (2008)

The article covering the switch-on. Photo: Archant.

The article covering the switch-on. Photo: Archant. - Credit: Archant

In Flashback Friday Enjoy Beccles More takes a look back at some of the town’s major stories and events from times gone-by.

This week, as the town readies to turn on it’s Christmas lights, we look at the festive fun from a decade ago when a Dr Who star helped bring the holiday cheer.

The article below, written by Victoria Nicholls, first appeared in the Beccles and Bungay Journal on Friday, December 5, 2008.

After the surprise snowfall we have had lately it was not rain that youngsters were dreaming of to kick off the festive celebrations in Beccles, but all the same hundreds of families turned out for the switching on of the Christmas lights last Friday.

Sizzling sausages, hot mince pies and mulled wine all helped keep the cold at bay and the festive spirit warm, as crowds packed into the town centre to see Dr Who actor Terry Malloy perform this year’s switch-on.

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Mr Malloy, who has starred as Mike Tucker in The Archers since 1973, is best-known for having played dalek leaders Davros in the television series of Dr Who.

Before performing the switch-on he judged a children’s dalek-impression contest on stage and went on to thrill Dr Who fans by signing autographs in Blyburgate Hall.

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The evening was a good chance for many people to start their Christmas shopping, as the shops stayed open late for the first time this year, and the numerous stalls which were set up through town selling gifts, food and drink, enjoyed bustling trade.

Helped by the Lions club, Father Christmas greeted youngsters, while shoppers enjoyed live Christmas music from bands who sheltered from the rain in Exchange Square.

The Friends of Beccles Open Air Swimming Pool sold mince pies and mulled wine to raise money to help safeguard the future of the pool. And not missing a trick, the organisers of the annual Beccles Duck Race encouraged shoppers to adopt festive ducks and teach them to swim - a full 10 months before next year’s event.

Christine Pinsent, chairman of Beccles Business Association, said considering how the weather was they were really pleased with how the evening went.

“It was the third year running we have had bad weather, but hardly any stalls that booked failed to turn up, and everyone there showed such community spirit, she said.

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