Harpur Hill residents spread Christmas cheer with return of living Advent calendar

Households in Harpur Hill have been counting down the days to Christmas with the return of their living Advent windows community art project, bringing the neighbourhood together to marvel at demonstrations of creative talent.

Each night from December 1-24, a different house or business will light up its specially designed window display at 6.30pm to create a walkable trail of festive cheer, with the location and photos shared on Facebook to help people find their way around.

Residents introduced the idea for the first time last year as a way to brighten up the dark days of lockdown, inspired by a similar initiative in Glasgow, and it made such a lasting impression that they decided to bring it back.

Organiser Rachel Harrison, an occupational therapist living on Harpur Hill Road, said: “We got so many positive comments last year – everyone said how much they looked forward to seeing the window every day – so we always hoped to bring it back.

Window number one at Harpur's Plaice chip shop on Burlow Road.

“We started organising in August and it took a little more time to find 24 homes because people have had less time at home to work on it. Lots of last year’s window creators are taking part again, but quite a few people have been inspired to join in for the first time.”

The windows unveiled so far demonstrate a dazzling array of domestic talents, from faux stained glass to intricate paper cuts, crochet Christmas trees and even animation.

Rachel, who comes up with a new rhyme each day for the big reveal, said: “There is some really fantastic work and really pretty windows. People have put in so much effort.”

While regular strollers have been getting out and about to admire each window as it lights up, Rachel expects most of the enjoyment will come on Christmas Eve.

Window number 10 on Harris Road.

She said: “I think people like to do it all in one go. Last year it was really busy with everyone walking around all the windows and ringing little bells. It had such a lovely atmosphere.”

To find all the windows, join the Harpur Hill Living Advent Calendar 2021 Facebook group at https://bit.ly/3F4JhE7.

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Window number eight on Harpur Hill Road.
Windowo number seven on Hopton Wood Way changes colour as you watch.
Window number nine, on Burlow Road, is a three dimensional gingerbread scene.