THE ambience is pure enchantment and it simply has to be experienced first-hand
EVEN under a leaden sky on a December day, the vast flatness of the Norfolk countryside is inescapable.
Someone once wrote that the Norfolk dialect was a language encapsulated in its landscape, with long vowels and wide horizons, summing up the county and its people.
Norfolk is familiar to us during the summer months, with its endless skies and fantastic light so beloved by painters, who are as numerous as the wildfowl in the coastal wetlands. But what could possibly entice someone here on such a bleak winter’s day?
Seven miles beyond Fakenham and almost without warning to the unwary, we turn into a country lane, indicating Thursford village. With barely room for two vehicles to pass and with no street lighting, this surely is heading into the back of beyond.
The only clue to the uninitiated that something interesting lies ahead, is the procession of car tail-lights and a discernible glow in the sky.
Then after a bare half mile we enter a massive floodlit car park where fluorescently-clad stewards are busily directing the flow of cars and coaches.
Enter the magical world of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
To most people, the name Thursford will elicit looks of incomprehension, and yet during November and December almost 130,000 regularly attend this event with many returning year after year. It is perhaps Christmas’s best kept secret and yet paradoxically, the biggest and most spectacular of all Christmas shows.
It would take more space than I have available to adequately describe this spectacle. The ambience is pure enchantment and it simply has to be experienced first-hand.
Not all the content is necessarily pure Yuletide, but the genius of John Cushing, Thursford’s producer and director, is to tie the whole package together with a festive ribbon and deliver a wonderfully balanced and awesome Christmas feast of a show.
Everyone should witness this Christmas masterpiece once before they die.
Do it soon, you are not looking well!