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Belton Road Advent Calendar window displays

2009-13 Belton Road takes up the idea

Since receiving guidance four years ago from Belton Road residents (Saskia and Sally) on how to organise Advent Windows, these December displays have spread to other Round Hill streets and have contributed atmosphere to our Seasonal Singing events.

2014-2017 Other RH streets follow

How the tradition spread via Belton Road to other RH streets

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The Belton Road Advent Calendar - by Saskia (17)

The Belton Road Advent Calendar came from an idea in 2009 at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester where our Dad works. They had been inspired by the advent windows in

We thought that the idea was lovely would be very effective on our street because of it’s small but has a tight community feeling. Myself (Saskia) and a friend (Kate) who lived up the road from us at the time, came together to work out how we could make this work for our street.

We wrote a letter and posted it through everyone’s door to see how many people would be interested in taking part and explained to them how it would work. We asked them if they would display a number and suggested some ideas abut how they could make the display. We also asked if anyone would be willing to contribute two numbers, in their upper and lower windows, in case we didn't get enough houses. The response we got was extremely positive. It was exciting to get everyone’s notes back through the door and we worked out how we could spread the numbers through the street so it worked as a calendar. We then sent out a second note through individual doors with their specific number.

Then we waited for the 1st to come around and the calendar began to take shape. This was extremely exciting for us as we were unsure in the first year how effective it would be and didn't know how much effort everyone would go to. There were sillouettes, sparkly lights, stained glass windows, angels and a partridge…all the numbers were so different, the children in the street would go out in the morning to find the newest number.

We thought it would a nice idea to have a small party on the 23rd or Christmas eve when everyone walked up and down the street to admire everyone elses displays and then came around to our house for a mince pie. More recently the party has moved to different houses each year, just to celebrate and come together as a community.

In the last few years the organisation of the calender has been passed to my younger sisters Molly (11) and Flora (7) and Jake (11) who also lives up the road from us, who are extremely excited to continue this idea that everyone seems to enjoy. The calendar has become a tradition for our street and allows everyone to be creative and unique in their ideas for their displays every year.

Description of the event -  by Belton Road resident, Sally Wright

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Ah yes, the great Belton Road window advent calendar tradition! It is lovely. We have lived here for 5 years and I think it's only the last 3 - 4 years that the window advent calendar has been about. I'm not sure how it started, but I love it! I believe it is orchestrated by about 3 households in the street…all with kids of a similar age (about 7 - 10).

For the last few years we have received a note through the door asking if we'd like to have a display in the window for the calendar, (and if possible, even show 2 displays, if the streets doesn't provide enough for 24) and if we would to drop a note back to the house that is organising it (which varies slightly each year between the 3 households).

Some of my neighbours and their children are very much involved with this. They are the same houses that often have Halloween parties in the cul de sac area of Belton Rd to the north of our house. It's a great community. They often have mulled wine and mince pies around christmas time too and an annual walk around the street on Christmas eve to view all the window displays.

Are the RHS not very involved in this then? If not it would be good for all the Round Hill community to link up on it. I can find out the history of it and find out plans for this year if you'd like?

With regard to the window advent display specifically - once you have said you're up for doing (by posting the note back through the door giving your house number and saying "yes!") you get another note through the door telling you your day/number, or days/numbers.

Lots of people do it and not that many people need to provide 2. I am 33 years old, but I still love each day in December on Belton Rd waiting to see what house will display what on that day! It's a great idea and a great tradition. When friends and family come to visit on December I always feel great pride showing them the advent calendar on our street. Our displays have varied between lit snow scenes, wise men and a Christmas pudding..My husband is always very keen to incorporate technology and light shows, which keeps me on my toes! People are always very innovative.

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Guidance on bringing them to your street

1. The organiser of the event needs to contact residents (letter/email/RH community group) with the aim of getting 24 households to take part.

With regard to the window advent display specifically - once you have said you're up for doing (by posting or messaging back giving your house number and saying "yes!") you get another note through the door or message telling you your day/number, or days/numbers. Lots of people do it and not that many people need to provide 2.

2. Days 1 to 24 (of December) are allocated: one distinct day for each participating household. Households unveil their front window displays on their allocated day.

3. If more than 24 households want to participate, some will have to do a display without a number and can decide themselves when to unveil it.

4. Everything is unveiled by 24th December and remains on display until 5th January (Twelfth Night) when the Christmas decorations come down.

This page was last updated by Ted on 19-Nov-2018
(registered users can amend this page)