There are those that say nothing ever happens in Andover.

They say it’s a dull place with very limited shopping scope.

Let’s take a closer look.

Granted we don’t have the variety of small independent shops that some of our larger neighbours can boast, but we do have a good number of quality retailers who are keen to do well.

In association with the carnival committee we published the latest Spot the Odd One Out competition and many have been surprised by the number of shops who entered.

Some 97 retailers joined in the fun, and that did not include some national multiples whose window displays are governed by their head offices.

The comment of ‘I didn’t know we had that many shops in town’ has been heard repeatedly, so it makes this competition all the more valuable for both retailers and shoppers.

And in how many towns across the land will they be seeing a procession of camels and extremely hairy wise men parading up their high street?

Chantry Centre manager Steve Cotney has always shown exceptional flair in creating topical scenarios that add real flavour and fun to most occasions.

This was impressive even by his standards and raised smiles as well as spirits during an otherwise bleak spell of weather and financial uncertainty.

Our Christmas lights switch-on, organised by Andover Live as part of the Andover Vision, was another great success and unlike some towns who have scrapped their festive illuminations, Andover manages to have a bit of sparkle still showing.

And our new Street Pastors team will now be out there helping those whose celebrations turn into a self inflicted ordeal or who find they need a sympathetic ear.

Joe Scicluna, Editor.