Look out for our Father Christmas trail in Downend shop windows

Published on: 24 Nov 2016

Well, Christmas is drawing ever nearer! I seem to be more organised this year, having made my cake and bought most of my presents. I think I got into the swing of things really early as we started making all of our Christmas trees and Father Christmases, for sale at the Cleeve Wood Shops event, in October time. Having a forest of Christmas trees and Santas in my kitchen made me feel very festive.

I must say a thank you to the Men and their Tools group who have had to meet twice a week to cope with our rising demands! Also a huge thank you to my next door neighbour Ann who has spent many an hour with me painting Father Christmas faces and little presents for the trees. She is also very good at drawing eyes and sticking on noses!!

I would also like to publicise our Christmas competition for children that we will be running in December. We are hoping that all (or at least most!) of the shops in Downend will be having one of our Father Christmas decorations in their shop window and these will all have names on them. We will then have entry forms (available in Kustom furnishing) which children will be able to collect. They will then have to search out the Santas and fill in the form with their names.  They will need to post the entry form into our special post box (also in Kustom- thank you to them  for agreeing to do this) and when the competition is finished we will draw out our prize winners who will be presented with their prize.  We do hope that children around the area will participate and it will give parents a welcome break away from all the Christmas stresses.

Anyway to stop talking about Christmas (you can tell I am excited this year!) and to discuss flowers (probably a good idea as we are called in Bloom!). Dave and I were so pleased a couple of weeks ago, when we were walking up Cleeve Hill, to see that a few houses have dug circles and planted  violas on their grass verge. This, following on from my plea in last month's Voice about people trying not to park on grass verges, was wonderful to see. Well done and thank you from all of the group. One of the main aims of our group is to make our area look beautiful and this hopefully inspires everyone to look after their own gardens and surroundings.

Also, just to revisit Christmas, I make our apologies to anyone who thought they were seeing things when a Christmas tree appeared on Badminton Road so early in November. This is a prototype that Men and Their Tools have made and we are trying it out with solar lights to see if they will stay twinkling all evening.  It seems to be working very well so we may hopefully be able to use the idea in the future - watch this space!

Oh dear, a vague Christmas theme again! On Friday we ventured off to Weston on the train to have a fish and chip supper and to see the Weston Carnival procession. What an experience! The last time I had been to one of these processions was when our children were small and the parade used to come to Bristol. You had to wait for about 15 minutes between each float (may be a slight exaggeration but it genuinely felt that long!) and the kids would become cold and bored and want to go home.

Anyway we had great fish and chips in Papa Johns and then found an ideal spot to view where we stood for about 1/2 hour to wait. Only five minutes late at 7.20pm the first float went past - well I was speechless - it was about the size of three juggernauts and was a mass of civil engineering. So many lights and things rotating, fantastic music and people so well choreographed I was completely in awe. The procession then carried on for over two hours! 

Now you might wonder why I am telling you this - for one, take a trip down next year and see this wonderful spectacle for yourself and two, what about having a parade in Downend next year! Dave often thinks I'm bonkers when I have these sort of ideas but wouldn't that be brilliant? Some of the children that were walking in the parade on Friday had the most fabulous costumes which were resplendent with solar lighting! We probably couldn't match the huge floats but maybe a character parade could be a possibility!!  Never say never!

This may be the last chance in the Voice to wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year from everyone at in Bloom and look forward to a bigger, better and more colourful 2017.                           

Jackie Baker


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