Newbury Living Advent Calendar 2020
Newbury’s Living Advent Calendar has been bringing Christmas cheer for the third year running to local residents, this time in a pandemic-friendly way. Whereas for the past two years the “revealing” of the door or a window by a local business or resident has been accompanied by a small event – anything from a string quartet performing to a choir, Christmas skit on the pavement, re-enactment of the Nativity scene to an Elvis Impersonator or Mariachi band, washed down by copious amounts of mulled wine, egg-nog, hot chocolate and even tequila, alongside, if not a “substantial meal” certainly plenty of festive nibbles – this year we have had to restrict ourselves just to the windows and doors themselves.
As ever, they have been both varied and spectacular: the Calendar was opened with a stunning full-length window Christmas Tree made from seasonal dried fruits and foliage by the florists, Willow & Blooms, followed by a fabulous Snow Globe thanks to LK Hair & Beauty. Day 3 saw the revealing of a majestic tableau featuring Cruella de Vil and some of her 101 dalmatians.
West Berkshire Museum revealed a superb cut-out silhouette scene from Wind in the Willows, while day 5 saw us introduced to Christmas celebrations, Dutch-style, with a window featuring Sinterklaas. Shaw House used the magnificence of their Elizabethan House to display a festive garland in the shape of a “6” on their front door and Oberon Jewellery then show-cased a splendid lamentation of swans in seven feathered rings.
Newbury Library created a gorgeous Christmas Tree laden with eight baubles, each one containing the cover of a Christmas book, which people are invited to borrow. Evening 9 saw the emergence of a fantastical woodland scene of varied creatures in West Mills, followed by the hanging of a gigantic solar-power bauble in Russell Road. Newbury Spring Festival’s door features the faces of many of the choristers who hope to be bringing cheer back to us all soon and 96 Furnishings projected the cosiness of Santa’s hearth from the large window of their Kennet Centre outlet. On 13th, we enjoyed an inspired and original tribute to Darth Vader, alongside a complex Lego model – a must-have toy on so many people’s Christmas lists.
We are only just half-way through and, already, we have enjoyed a wide-range of wonderfully festive original doors and windows. On Monday (14th) we have the Ugly Duckling Pottery to look forward to, along with Philip Brown Violins on 22nd December and The Globe pub on 24th, as well as eight more local residents who promise to bring further cheer to the local community in these challenging times. We encourage you to visit the trail at your leisure any time up until 5th January. If you like what you see, please think about making a donation to our Just Giving page to enable us to support local good causes: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bridgette-lawrence You can follow the fortunes of the Newbury Living Advent Calendar on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Newbury-Living-Advent-Calendar-102357061716391 Merry Christmas.
By Bridgette Lawrence (up to date as of Sunday 13th December)