CHRISTMAS 2018 (X18) Meeting NOTES – Thursday 9th August 2018

5.30pm to 6.30pm at The Castle Inn



FBA Committee – Jenny Stockman, Steve Calver, Victoria Perkins, Guy Downes (Deep Space Marketing), Jacqueline Ward.

Retailers – Dianne Scott (Hall Farm Butchers), Amanda and David Fisher (The Castle Inn), Chris and Tricia Plant (The Kitchen Range and Cookshop), Victoria Spurling and Chris Grzelak (Out and About)


FBA – Richard Whitaker

Retailers – Amy Clow (Impulse), Sarah Markham (Olivie), Ingrid Simpson (Simpsons Sweets and Milkshakes)

Churches Together – Mark Sanders.


X18 30th November  Shopping Evening

JS gave an overview to the Shopping Evening, part of a cohesive 3 day Framlingham traditional Christmas weekend. Framlingham would be promoted to a wider area, as well as provide an opportunity for businesses and the community to come together. FBA won’t take over the retailer led Shopping Evening as the retailers know what they want, but will be supportive – especially in relation to pooling of resources including insurance, traffic management, raffle, sponsorship and funding, promotion, branding and leaflets, press and social media etc.  This meeting was looking at the ideas for the shopping evening, and at forming a sub-committee.


Ideas Discussed

Want to ensure as many retailers as possible can benefit from the shopping evening.

Traditional – Traditional feel with emphasis on shops.

Time – 5-8pm agreed

Partial Road closure – Full closure of Market Hill approx £700, so going for a partial road closure the same as for the Fram Saturday Market.  This will close the lower part of Market hill and leave the through road in operation – cost £50 or free.

ACTION: SC of FBA to apply for this by end August.

Father Christmas/Santa’s Grotto – Needs someone delegated to organise.

FC – suggestions for a FC? Costume may be available from Bulstrodes.

Location – Co-op staff car park? (ask Manager Andrew Kerry). Victoria and Chris mentioned a 2.5x4m exhibition trailer that may be available to borrow (exact size?), it can be opened at the front to the desired size and could also sit on Market Hill. This would require a group to decorate and source props (some red fabric available from FBA).  Alternatives include asking Akermans as in 2017, Clarke and Simpson (who may also decorate), covered car park next to Matspace, (or Bill’s yard but he has tenants).

Another suggestion was to ask Nick Corke to drive FC (or be FC!) into Market Hill on one the new Trikes, quirky and would publicise their need for pilots.

Gifts – to be sourced and wrapped, probably unisex and under 3’s and over 3’s categories. Need to set a price.

ACTION: Victoria and Chris to confirm size and availability of trailer for either choirs or Father Christmas.

ACTION: Sub-committee to find a FC, costume, venue and gifts, approach Nick Corke?

Pony and Trap Rides –  Victoria S and Chris suggested that rides around the town could be popular.  Chris and Victoria may have a contact for this.  Risk assessment and insurance would need to be checked.

ACTION: Victoria and Chris to research Pony and Trap availability.

Schools – The 3 local schools could be contacted to see if they could provide choirs, take part in a lantern parade, possibly window decoration.

ACTION: Sub-committee to contact schools.

ACTION: TMHS to be contacted by FBA in relation to Window competition.

Children’s Lantern Parade  – from St Michael’s onto Market Hill.  Would be traditional and bring parents and children into town, could occur just before the main tree is lit. Although children could make lanterns it would be safer to have battery lanterns, or possibly red/green glow bracelets.  SC to look at re-usable lantern costs, then decision made on funding, and approaching school. Needs someone to co-ordinate, possibly from the school.

ACTION: SC to research lantern cost initially before school approached.

Tree Lighting – It was felt the official lighting of the main and small trees should take place early at about 5pm.

ACTION: FBA to contact Dr Dan Poulter for availability

Treasure Trail – DS and Sarah Cole (The Jewellery Studio) had a 12 Days of Christmas trail idea.  12 shops would represent each of the 12 days, children and families would be encouraged to visit each venue looking for clues to identify each day (5 gold rings etc). They could receive a stamp/sweets/small gift/chance to be in a prize/s draw.  The trail would encourage people to visit venues that are less central.  The competition answer box and draw could be held at a non-central location such as The Kitchen Range and Cookshop. There would need to be a small contribution by the businesses eg sweets at their venue or a small budget could be discussed.  Trails use for FBA events have proved to be a good way to encourage people to visit more shop locations.

ACTION: Sub-committee to look at potential participating shops (can also be on newsletter).

Raffle – To be organised well in advance, prizes sought, tickets designed and ordered.  This will require someone to lead, each shop encouraged to sell the tickets well in advance. FBA currently sorting the Small Lottery License.  The raffletickets could be sold in the shops, at booked slots at the Co-op back entrance (need a rota to cover), and at the Sunday event too perhaps.  Sort float for ticket sales. Organise a display table for the prizes at the Co-op promotion and at the Friday and Sunday events. The clear purpose of the raffle would be to help cover costs of the trees and lighting, and any surplus would be for the local community in some way yet to be decided.  FBA always gives some money to local groups who lend equipment essential to the event.

NB: Since meeting – Co-op Foyer dates booked are Sat 17th November, Weds 28th November – confirmed by JS.

ACTION: Raffle group to be set up and tasks allocated.  Decision on surplus profit.

Lighting – Lighting on Market Hill is necessary.

ACTION: SC to look into.

Decoration  – FBA plan to ensure the town is seasonally dressed with lit xmas trees.  It was suggested the lime trees be decorated with lights. FBA pointed out that although this has occurred in the past, it had been advised this was not allowed.  SC has had an alternative idea to light this area and will report back.

ACTION: SC to research lighting the lime tree area.

Trade stands –  Could be a source of income, some food and drink could be acceptable and local businesses could have a stall as well , such as hog roast from Hall Farm, Popcorn from/at Simpsons, Christmas wreaths from Callendars or Garnett’s etc.  Chris Plant could also do something seasonal such as chestnuts or Egg Nog.

ACTION: Sub-committee to see if appropriate trade stands available.

Entertainment – It was felt that the choirs, 12 Days of Christmas trail, main tree lighting, and Father Christmas would provide most of the entertainment.  Hot chestnuts from the Fire Brigade would be very welcome.  SC does know an alternative for the chestnuts if Firemen not available.  Someone suggested contacting the Co-op Brass Band, or an alternative (Castleton Brass Band).

ACTION: Sub-committee to contact Brass bands for availability and any costs.

ACTION: Sub-committee to contact Fire brigade re availability and hot chestnuts.

Disco – A disco for children, followed by a later adult disco could be a good draw.  The back room at The Crown could be a good central location, with refreshments already in situ.  Silent disco? Cost?

ACTION: Sub-committee to contact The Crown regarding costs and availability, and disco costs if arranging separately.

Teenagers – This age group didn’t feel catered for at previous events.  It was felt that if the evening was well lit, with refreshments and perhaps somewhere to congregate with their friends and be on social media, they could be happy.  Another suggestion was that St Michael’s Rooms could be a venue for children or teenager activities?

ACTION: Sub-committee to check availability and cost of St Michaels Rooms, and discuss activities and costs, plus availability of volunteers to run.

Choirs – It would be nice to have Churches Together, 3 School and other choirs such as Rabble Chorus, Phoenix Singers and Pop Chorus – all with seasonal music. Local singers could be asked – Christina Johnson, Laura Wright, Ed(!), Polly Gibbons, Charity Quinn.  The singing would ideally be continual with each group doing a couple of slots each.  One idea from SC would be to have the choirs on a horseshoe shaped stage around the main tree or on a trailer (see info on Father Christmas). NB CHOIRS ALSO MAY BE NEEDED ON SUNDAY MARKET, SO NEED TO WORK TOGETHER ON THAT.

ACTION: Sub-committee to contact schools, choirs and singers (Friday/Sunday).

ACTION: SC to report back on horseshoe staging.

Church Involvement – Ask Mike Vipond at the Catholic Church about a Crib or Nativity.  Baptist Church may also wish to be involved.

NB: Since meeting – Elske Jenkins from Baptist Church has confirmed with JW that is keen to be involved with both Xmas Shopping Evening and Sunday Market – probably a nativity scene on the Friday.  Contact email available from JW.

ACTION: Sub- committee  to contact Catholic and Baptist Churches.

Christmas Window Competition – FBA will co-ordinate this, as in previous years.  TMHS involvement could be with judging, and possibly Primary school with pictures/decorations for windows.  Shops should be contacted as early as possible, and encouragement given to shops away from Market Hill – The Retreat, Art Shop, Phoebe and Flo, EACH (have indicated they would like to be open), Callendars, Louise Patricks, The Kitchen Range and Cookshop, Better on Vinyl, Castle Shoes, Simpsons Sweets and Milkshakes.  It was confirmed that all entrants would be eligible to win the business orientated prizes.

ACTION: FBA to source prizes, contact TMHS, promote and publicise.

Christmas Card Competition – Eileen Coe and Fram Town Council together with Fram Library Manager run this successful event again, exhibiting entries throughout December and at the Shopping Evening.

Meet Your Councillor There will be the opportunity to meet the local councillors with drinks and nibbles, during the Shopping Evening.

Use of Market Hill – FTC has given permission for the Market Hill parking space area to be used for the Shopping Evening, and Sunday Market.  They have also given permission for the flagpole to be removed to allow the main tree installation, and for the use of Market Hill electrics

ACTION: FBA to apply for road closure, remove the flagpole for the Market Hill tree and collect the electric key from FTC.

Sponsors/Funding – FBA have applied to FTC for some grant funding, should know in September.  Others to be approached – house developers, Community Enabling Budget, businesses.  On offer would be the chance to be in the 3 day flyers, press and social media.  It was also suggested that FBA members, other individuals and businesses keen to see the town looking seasonal might like to contribute. This could be promoted in the FBA newsletter, Market Hill noticeboard, posters in The Castle pub, and on social media.  GD commented that he could set up Paypal on social media to allow people to donate simply.  Cheques and cash could also be given.

ACTION: JS and SC to provide a sponsorship package to VP for social media. Promote.

Christmas Trees – FBA organises the main tree and small trees and takes full responsibility for sourcing, ordering, lighting, installing, and tree removal. Tasks also include replacement lights, accepting delivery and storage, many weekend volunteer hours clipping the lights onto the small trees and fitting them into the holders, installing the main and small trees, decorating the main tree, organising the switch-on procedure, removing the trees to storage, removing the lights, disposing of the trees.  Notwithstanding the admin hours taken in checking who would like a small tree, invoicing and reminders, delivery schedule, emailing and hand delivering information to tree holders.  Last year FBA also promoted more people to have trees on their property, there was a small uptake and brackets issued for properties to host the trees.  Small trees have to be cut to fit the tree holders and so cost just under £20 per tree last year, cost of new lights/transformer/batteries can add up to £10 per tree, cost of insurance and installation costs have to be allowed for, the use of FBA tree holders and brackets are also factored in.  Last year the main tree was sourced cost effectively.  Improvements are planned to the lighting configuration on the main tree.  FBA have also purchased more battery lights which were successfully trialled last year.  This makes for easier installation and removal of trees.

Retailers present at the meeting felt that last year there had been fewer trees, which looked less attractive to visitors and residents.  They would prefer that everyone had a tree, and that the cost should be free or low regardless of whether an FBA member or not, and felt that FBA had sufficient funds to do this.

The annual cost of having the trees was £2500 – £3000 each year, and the lights for the main tree had cost over £600 2 years ago (sponsored), and that each year some lights had to be replaced for the small trees at costs from £80 – £350.  Last year the trees had been free to members by using surplus income from the Sausage Festival, and £40 to non-members which is cheaper than in comparable local towns such as Woodbridge and Aldeburgh – where charges are about £50 for all.  There had been about 6 or 7 fewer trees last year, mostly on Market Hill, but the overall number was 87.  Businesses had been asked about trees, some were unwilling to contribute £40 towards the trees, others needed permission from landlords, or grade 2 listed permission, some had issues around the type of building construction.  FBA have to abide by regulations.

Retailers at the meeting felt that everyone should have a free tree regardless of whether a member or not, that the cost should not be a barrier to the town looking good. Also that free trees could be a good-feel incentive to join FBA.

Committee members have to be mindful of financial sustainability of free trees each year, as finances depend on event profits and available outside funding – neither of which are guaranteed. Also that the trees are a membership benefit to those that have them and that other members are not able to benefit from this.

It was suggested that the trees be free to members, and that non-members could be asked to either make a donation of up to the cost of the tree (yet to be set), or make a cash, voucher or item donation to the raffle as well as assisting with sale of raffle tickets. This would need to be of a reasonable value, and would be publicised, ideally items would be a draw to their business.  This would hopefully make it easier to source prizes and increase the raffle profit. Those present felt that in principle this could be a good way to proceed, the wording would have to be considered.

Both retailers and committee members would prefer the tree lights be static on all trees, whether self-installed or FBA installed.  Volunteers would be sought to help with the lighting, and de-lighting process.

ACTION: FBA to obtain tree quotes to enable 2018 tree costs to be assessed.

ACTION: FBA to find out if firefighters available to help install and remove the tree.

ACTION: Once costing agreed JW can ask if people wish to have a tree, wording to be agreed.

Shopping Booklet – DS proposed a shopping booklet for the shopping evening, paid for by advert costs. It would be given out by participating visitors from 2 weeks before the event. Her research with one company indicated there could be a £10 charge per ad, a 20 page booklet would cost £137 for 300 copies with Vistaprint.  The booklet could include discount vouchers for the shopping evening, it was also suggested some could have future dates for January to encourage returners. The booklet could also be linked to the raffle and/or the 12 Days of Christmas Trail possibly, and again includes businesses away from Market Hill.  JS and FBA have previous experience of these booklets and had the following suggestions:  other companies might be more cost effective, design costs for individual businesses ads need to be considered, overall branding and design could ideally match the 3 day Christmas weekend branding for consistency, the selling of half page ads reduces number of pages required, don’t go for perforated vouchers as the cost is high.

ACTION: DS is happy to organise this booklet.

Branding – Lucy Hart would be a good choice for the 3 day branding for flyers, social media and posters.  FBA to consider, those present had liked previous branding with perhaps some seasonal colour.  Needs all parties to approve (FOSM).

ACTION: FBA to contact Lucy Hart.

Shopping Evening Sub-Committee Volunteers – D Scott indicated she is happy to take on some of the actions required, with the help of others.  Amy Clow had indicated that she would be open to making phone calls and sending emails, and Sarah Markham had also indicated she would be able to help.  Neither Amy or Sarah were present to confirm, so DS will contact them, and others.  A mailing list could be set up ensuring people are informed and perhaps volunteer for small jobs, this ensures non-FBA members are kept informed and involved.  FBA will do some work on the raffle.

ACTION: JW to co-ordinate with DS about publicising sub-committee.

ACTION: DS to contact Amy and Sarah to discuss involvement.


NEXT MEETING: Thursday 27th September, 5.30pm at The Castle Inn.

To check progress and actions.

Meeting can be publicised via newsletter (JW), noticeboard (JW), social media (VP) and mailing list(DS or JW).



Promotion in Framfare – Deadline date for is Monday November 5th for delivery out from 22nd November, the weekend before the event.

Flyers and Posters – need to be designed, ordered and distributed.

Equipment – Borrowing of equipment such as chairs, gazebo, tents from Scouts and Guides/Sports club need to be booked.

Raffle –  FBA have a returning officer for the Small Lottery License, feedback must be given after the event to SCDC.