INDEPENDENT traders who have joined forces to host a Christmas market to mark the start of the festive season have rejoiced at the success of the event.

Trinity Street traders with members of the South Lanes Project, which covers streets running from the east end of Crouch Street to the west end of Eld Lane teamed up to host the supersized event yesterday.

Dozens of retailers sold their wares, with everything from Turkish lights, scarves and handmade toys to jewellery and beauty products.

Shoppers could also enjoy some tasty festive treats with a host of food and drink stalls.

As they browsed they were treated to live music from singers including a choir and bands. to food and drinks, while live music performers were also entertaining the shoppers.

Alice Charrington, owner of Tymperleys and chairman of the Trinity Traders, said 17 stalls were selling their goods in Trinity Street, with more stalls joining in in the South Lanes.

She said: “It was very busy as lots of people were doing their Christmas shopping, it was a very nice buzz on the street.

“About 500 to 600 people were walking up and down the street, but it is hard to tell how many took part in the event.

“The Funky Voices choir had 70 people performing and their voices echoed to the buildings.

“They were great, with so much energy and enthusiasm.”

Mrs Charrington said the cold and rainy weather did not dampen anybody’s spirits and the whole event was lots of fun.

Trinity Traders and members of the South Lanes Project work together to keep Colchester’ streets clean and each year they jointly organise a successful Christmas market.

She added: “We are a collection of businesses who love our streets and make the most of it.

“It was lovely working together with them again this year.

"It was a real pleasure and we hope we can work together in the years to come as well - I am very excited.

“The event was just really good fun, a pleasure to trade here.

“We will never forget how brilliant Trinity Street is.

“We hope to see everybody next year at the Summer festival, which will take place on Sunday, May 10.”

The event took place the same day as the town centre light switch- on.

Festive fans were treated to a host of Christmas-themed fun with a market at the Minories Gallery and entertainment in Culver Square.

As darkness fell the town was lit up at the official switch-on.