Flood-hit shop recovers to win festive window competition

A Bury St Edmunds home and gift shop which formally re-opened last month after a devastating flood is celebrating today having been judged to have the best Christmas window in town. LOFT & SPIRES, at 61 Cornhill, was announced as the winner this morning (December 19) in the annual competition organised by Our Bury St […]

A Bury St Edmunds home and gift shop which formally re-opened last month after a devastating flood is celebrating today having been judged to have the best Christmas window in town. LOFT & SPIRES, at 61 Cornhill, was announced as the winner this morning (December 19) in the annual competition organised by Our Bury St Edmunds, which runs the Business Improvement District (BID).

The shop, which had to close for several weeks during the autumn after a succession of leaks from elsewhere in the same building flooded the premises, was given the top prize by this year’s guest judge Sue Warren who is Brand and Marketing Manager for the town’s tourism organisation Bury St Edmunds and Beyond. Highly Commended were former winner florist Tudor Rose and bridal boutique House of Snow, both in Hatter Street. Sue said: “When I was invited to judge this competition I had no idea it was going to be such a difficult task as the standard is so incredibly high. The creativity among Bury’s businesses when it comes to window displays is fantastic. The key elements I was looking for were creativity and festivity and LOFT & SPIRES had that in abundance with their window that faces The Traverse. I was also looking for a window that really showcased what they were selling which made you want to go in to see more and in this they excelled.”

Romy Abraham who owns LOFT & SPIRES said: “This hasn’t been the easiest year for us with the flooding, so to have some good news just before Christmas is wonderful. The shop staff have been amazing in helping to create this Christmas display, by making all the elements for it in their own time. It was a difficult and time consuming job and when eventually finished I was told, in no uncertain terms, by the team that it would be the last window I would be allowed to design – hence, I am feeling particularly smug!

“We started with an antique bicycle that had come from France but it was bright orange and we sprayed it several times to make it white. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful and creative team to work with – Frances made all the ‘Dear Santa’ envelopes for our post box and Lizzie, who does wonders with all our floral arrangements and is an incredible seamstress in her own right, made the costume and head dress for Mother Christmas. Alice, as always, unleashed her magic with the lighting, props and setting the mood of our Christmas theme. They all put in a lot of hard work and I am delighted it all paid off.”

LOFT & SPIRES will now hold the prestigious Our Bury St Edmunds shield for a year. It was presented this morning (11am) by the organisation’s Chief Executive Mark Cordell and Sue Warren. Mark commented: “Sue was extremely diligent as a judge and I thank her for the time that she put into this. The businesses in Bury St Edmunds make a real effort with their windows and the job of judging them is not one to be undertaken lightly.

“I congratulate the team at LOFT & SPIRES for winning the competition, especially as they have been a runner up a number of times in previous years and I hope that their success continues into 2018.”

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