Words and photo by Dave Barry
Hundreds of adults, children and dogs waited patiently in pouring rain for the lights on Filey’s 25ft ‘fishtivity’ tree to be turned on.
Filey Fishermen’s Choir and shivering pupils from the town’s Ebor Academy and junior school sang carols through the steady drizzle.
A BBC film crew from Look North delayed the switch-on, which was broadcast live.
Businesses on the Coble Landing did well and the pungent aroma of countless portions of fish and chips drifted across the soggy throng.
It was a peaceful, if damp, assembly and a solitary police officer had little to do.
As a near-full moon rose over a low tide, the time finally came for 1,600 eco-friendly LED lights to be lit.
Along with salmon nets, crab pots and orange buoys, they had been draped around a big conical structure made with scaffold poles. A 4ft-high leaping salmon was impaled on the central strut of scaffolding.
Erected by a team of volunteers with a forklift, the tree has been sponsored by numerous local businesses and will now appear on the Coble Landing every Christmas.
The sponsors include Chris Coletta, White Lodge Hotel, Downcliffe House Hotel, Beachdale Guesthouse, Trout Cottage, the Cobbler’s Arms, the Star Inn, Holdsworth’s Amusements, Ingham’s Fish Restaurant, Shoe Boutique, Baker’s Snacks, Dixon’s, White House & Cabins, Angela’s Tearoom, Bikeabout, Scaife Fabrications, Filey fishermen and Filey Tourism Association.