It's not until you get involved in an event like late night shopping in Market Harborough until you realise just how much work goes into making sure the day goes off without a hitch.
We were up at the Gartree Depot for 8.00am (myself, Martin Hill, Sarah Hill, Adrian Bentley, Phil Bowden and John Cooper) to start sorting through all the signs and barriers that had been planned and ordered in advance. We loaded up two vehicles and started on our rounds positioning signs and barriers for later in the day. We had only gone so far before one of the vehicles was stolen. Quickly calls were made to the local police, HFM and Kwik Cabs to see if we could find it before the thieves got too far.
A contingency plann was put into place which involved a large quantity of cones instead of barriers. We had to go back to the depot to collect these and double back around the inner and outer perimeters of the diversions to finish the job.
Then it was over to the town square to start assembling the stalls for the local charities for the evening. Setting up these took several hours during which time the stolen vehicle was found due to the help from HFM and the police and the Harborough public too.
The lights along the stalls were a bit of a challenge but we managed to arrange them eventually.
The early evening came and we lept into action once again to start enforcing the road closures and diversions. Stewards were sent out to man the barriers and inform drivers. This was all coordinated by Martin Hill, Bryan Sheldon and Margaret Kenny. The crowds started to build and the entertainers came out.
Entertainment was bountiful thanks to the organisation from Tim Thornton with acts from David Kent in Adam and Eve Street to a band in Northampton Road, Roaming Christmas Trees' walking and entertaining the crowds, Robert Smyth Jazz Band were in Abbey Street and magician Terry Box was entertaining us all too.
Our very own local radio station HFM brought their roadshow down to the square and entertained us with a celebrity light switch on by Evelyn Brink from The One And Only followed by Tracey Lee Collins from Britain's Got Talent. both really got the crowd going and everyone had a great time. Then we had the local school choir supported by the Harborough Brass Band. The evening was a massive success and the whole town was alive and full of energy.
As everyone started to leave at 9.00pm we were starting our final phase of taking down the road blocks and collecting the signs. We finally finished this little job around 11.00pm where I popped into The Angel hotel for a quick half before going home but for some there were still bits to to the following morning.