One Sunday every month, in a small English town somewhere south of Manchester, market stalls spring up along the pedestrianised streets to attract fat-walleted locals from the surrounding area.
On this particular Sunday, in late November, the streets were more crowded than usual. With the orgy of consumerism known as Christmas on the horizon, many bargain-hunters were in town looking for unusual knicknacks, hand-crafted cards or jewelery, or interesting local produce to gift to friends and relatives who would rather just have the money.
Overhead hung sad monochromatic arcs of twinkling lights. A band played instrumental carols outside the town hall, overlooked by a sparsely-decorated tree and dull carven nativity scene. The warm scents of hog roasts, burgers and mulled-wine only served to accentuate the chill in the air.