VIDEO: Arundel by Candlelight battles strong winds

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CHRISTMAS stalls had to be altered when 20mph winds were forecast for one of Arundel’s biggest events of the year.

But Stagecoach helped provide some refuge for children desperate to have their faces painted.

Laila Suki has her face painted at the Stagecoach stall

Laila Suki has her face painted at the Stagecoach stall

Arundel by Candlelight organisers found it impossible to set up gazebos and market-style stalls on Saturday morning, when the wind was at its highest.

Many of the outside stalls had to be relocated to different parts of the town and the stilt walking brass band took great care negotiating the bustling High Street, where hundreds of children had arrived to take part in the procession.

With the decision made to cancel the outside stalls, Stagecoach was faced with a dilemma, as face painters were booked and they needed somewhere for their stall full of goodies.

It was decided the bus shelter in River Road, disbanded for the event, could provide the perfect respite from the winds, so it was decorated and made ready.

It worked well during the day but as the evening drew in, somewhere warmer was needed. This time, a Stagecoach double-decker bus proved the ideal venue.

Children were allowed to ring the bell, sit in the driver’s seat and taking a look out at Arundel from the top deck.

Colin Ashcroft, operations manager at Stagecoach Worthing, said: “It was so wonderful to see the teams work together to ensure that the day not only went on but was every bit as successful as previous years.

“The children absolutely loved having their faces painted and the free Stagecoach buggy buddies were so popular, parents were asking after them.”

Free travel was offered on the Coastliner 700 between Arundel railway station and the town, and there was a free, additional service at 7.15pm to take people back to Littlehampton.

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