Christmas lights information

If you’re heading for the Christmas Lights switch-on you may want to pay special attention to hair and make-up as a new feature film is being shot in Norfolk – and Aylsham will be playing a starring role.

A camera crew will be joining the crowds tomorrow (November 26), for the festive event, shooting scenes for the film, which is being made by Just Regional’s parent company, Medici Media.

Originally to be set in smalltown America, when CEO Timothy Mucciante came to Aylsham he took one look around and relocated the plot to Norfolk.

“Aylsham was perfect for it,” he said. “I knew that as soon as I saw it.”

My Only Sunshine tells the story of Juliet, a single mum who moves to Aylsham from America after her husband dies and leaves her the family home. Making a new life for herself and her son isn’t easy, but with the help of new friends they overcome all that life throws at them and find love, happiness and the place they belong.

“It is a feelgood movie,” said Timothy. “She has her challenges and finds true love.”

She also finds a job in Budgens and, along with all the other local businesses featured around town, it will remain just as we know it and will not be renamed for the film.

“Everything will stay exactly as it is,” said Timothy. “Unless anyone wants to be rebranded, all the businesses will be seen as they are.”

And as well as businesses featuring on the silver screen, Aylsham folk will also be involved – starting with the lights switch-on.

“It will be the first event like this for two years so it will be busy,” said Timothy. “We want everybody to know that if they want to be part of it, they are welcome.”

And as well as local shopfronts being seen by international audiences, Timothy says the film – which is being made with Scottow-based October Studios and will bring a real boost to the local economy.

“That money will all be going to local businesses in Aylsham and the surrounding areas,” he said. “Carpenters, electricians – the cast will need places to stay… it will all help the area.”

Casting is still in progress and the first main scenes will be shot in February and March. The film should be released for Christmas 2022 and although it will be aimed at streaming services, there will be some showings locally for its premiere.

“It’s all very exciting and we can’t wait to get started,” said Timothy.

Town ready for big switch-on event

After the disappointment of the cancellation of last year’s Christmas lights switch-on night, organisers are looking forward to welcoming people to the town centre again.

The festive stalls based in Market Place, Red Lion Street and the Town Hall will open at 5pm before the lights are switched on at 6.30pm. Local shops will also be open late.

There will also be live entertainment in Market Place. Students from Aylsham High School will perform scenes from their production of Joseph and singing duo Cameron and Jordan will appear.

Santa’s grotto will be at Aylsham Heritage Centre and there will be a special post box in the Town Hall to send letters to Father Christmas.

Donna Butcher, Events and Administration Officer at Aylsham Town Hall, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming people to the town centre and hopefully will get everyone in the festive spirit.”

Market Place and Red Lion Street will close to traffic from 2pm and Penfold Street and Bank Street will shut from 4pm.

The bus stops in Market Place will not be in use after 2pm and the nearest alternative stop will be outside Tesco.

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