HUNDREDS of people descended on Cheltenham yesterday as the Christmas shopping frenzy began.
There were queues of traffic on main routes in and out of the town as people dashed to get their last-minute presents and stocking fillers.
It marked the start of what traders expect to be the busiest weekend of the year. They hope the tills will be ringing non-stop between now and 5pm on Monday.
Many stores were set to open at 7am to capitalise on the charge.
Town centre manager Martin Quantock said he expected it to be extremely busy.
"I'm sure it will be absolutely chock-a-block," he said.
"People like doing all their food shopping at the last minute and so I'm sure supermarkets and food shops will be particularly busy.
"It will be a really important weekend for traders."