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Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Henbury pulls off a Cracker

Despite the rain and cold, Henbury's Christmas Crackers event on Crow Lane yesterday was a resounding success.

I'm not yet sure how much money was raised, but an array of snowmen, reindeer, christmas trees a- and a Christmas pudding ( seen here with Chris Windows, our Henbury Councillor, looking charming in a hat) , were out shaking buckets and people were giving generously.

Well done and thanks to everyone who braved numb fingers and toes and the damp to put on a really lovely event - which is a reminder again that Crow Lane gets a lot of bad press, but that the huge majority of people are incredibly community minded and put themselves out to make events like this come together.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Bringing Christmas to the elderly with the Southmead Carol Bus

The snow may have been fake, but it was pretty cold, which is why this photographer's hands were shaking so much, no doubt. The picture shows me, Santa and "Santa's Little Helper" , in the hat, towering over Santa.

This evening, I was invited to join Cliff Howell on his Southmead Carol Bus as it visited elderly people's homes in North West Bristol. It really was an honour. Every year Cliff drives the carol bus to a number of homes, and Father Christmas goes in and visits the elderly residents personally.

Although the aim of the evening was simply to bring some Christmas to those who may otherwise not have much in the way of festivities, I was also holding the collecting tin. All money raised tonight and on Friday night's Southmead Tour will go to local community projects and charities.

I've said before that pictures speak 1000 words. I'm not sure in that case how many words videos speak, but I suspect it's a lot more. So since I'm now obsessed with embedding youtube videos into everything, I'll let these do the talking, and leave you with a very fine picture of the Carol Bus's very own Santa's Little Helper. ( sorry, SLH, I couldn't resist!)

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Brailsford Brothers Christmas Lights finally switched on!

I've got a feeling this isn't the last Christmassy themed post I'm going to write - and it's only the 1st December...

Brentry marked the beginning of advent with the now legendary switch-on of the Brailsford Brothers' Christmas Lights display. This blog has tracked their progress, from when I first came across Lee, taking down the lights one chilly January morning, to putting them back up again on a scorching September day, to the switch-on this evening. Getting anywhere near the house this evening was something of a challenge, due to the crowds of people who had assembled.

I had written to EDF Energy to ask whether they would be able to give the brothers a discount on their electricity bill. They pay for all the lights themselves, out of their own pocket, and this year with the credit crunch, it has been harder for them. Sadly, I was unable to get EDF to help, despite some trenchant pestering, but that didn't stop Lee and Paul from putting on a display bigger and better than ever before, this year.

Wallace and Gromit were there, along with Father Christmas, shaking buckets and raising money for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal for the Royal Hospital for Children - and the collecting boxes are out throughout the Christmas period for donations from passers-by who enjoy the lights display.

So go along and see what is perhaps Bristol's brightest house on Oakbourne Road, in Brentry. And check out their website at, HERE