Town centre attractions pull in crowds

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THERE’S plenty going on in St Helens town centre.

That’s the message constantly being drummed into us - so I decided to spend a Saturday mooching around the town centre to find out for myself.

My first stop was a trip to Burchells for a traditional Saturday lunchtime pie treat before heading to Church Square. Despite the near-constant rain, Church Street was heaving with shoppers.

And there was also plenty of festive entertainment on offer in the form of street peformers dotting up and down Church Street.

Outside WH Smith we were stopped by the intriguing Famous Brother, who were performing a juggling/comedy routine.

The pair captivated passing shoppers with their quirky, slapstick performance, which culminated in an impressive juggling display on top of a 7ft unicycle.

I plucked out of the crowd and ‘volunteered’ to help Oliver Famous - one half of the duo - climb upon the bike then watched in amazement as he proceeded to juggle three flaming torchs, all the while balancing precariously in the pouring rain.

Walking further down Church Street, we came across more mirth and merriment ranging from balloon modelling elves to penny farthing-riding Victorian gents. There were also gravity-defying stilt walkers, fairies and a lollipop man for reindeer.

I was taken aback at how much was going on and the merry atmosphere it generated. And with the free parking on often at all council-run car parks, it was good for the wallet, too.

Council chiefs are working hard to build St Helens’ reputation as a centre of attraction and if Saturday is anything to go by, it is certainly working.

Now, if they could only do something about the weather...