ONE of Stockton Town Centre’s successful independent shops brought a touch of civilisation to the High Street on Saturday.

DRAKE – The Bookshop on Silver Street hosted a day of events to mark Civilised Saturday, the antidote to Black Friday.

Now in its second year the campaign marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and encourages people to visit local shops to find perfect gifts for family and friends – without the frenzied shopping and atmosphere associated with Black Friday.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Ken Dixon and Mrs Linda Dixon, popped into the book shop to soak up the leisurely atmosphere and start their Christmas shopping.  He said: “Civilised Saturday is such a good idea and it was a pleasure to meet with Richard, and his staff, as well as browsing through the shop at all the lovely gift ideas. The run-up to Christmas is a hectic time of year but we are lucky that here in Stockton there are lots of independent gems offering shoppers unique gifts and goodies in a relaxed setting.”

To create a shopping day to remember Richard Drake, owner of DRAKE – The Bookshop, had organised activities including a book signing event by local author Mark Thompson, blind date books and mocktails served by the shop’s own ‘Jeeves’.  Richard said: “We were delighted the Mayor was able to join us for our Civilised Saturday celebrations which proved to be an even better antidote to Black Friday than last year. Inspired by the Scandinavian principle of ‘Hygge’ – it was great to help the people of Stockton step back, relax and forget the stresses of Black Friday.”

A signed, limited edition copy of Philippa Gregory’s ‘The White Queen’ was also auctioned with proceeds kindly donated to Butterwick Hospice, one of the Mayor of Stockton –on-Tees’ chosen charities.