14 pictures of Christmas windows in Gwydir Street, Cambridge
Festive views have returned to Gwydir Street in Cambridge as, for the second year running, the residents have created window displays to light up the road.
Gwydir Street Festive Windows 2021 encourages households to come up with a unique and eye-catching design to display in their window on a particular day during Advent. This isn’t an ordinary Advent calendar, however, as these windows go up to 31, to ensure that everybody who wants to take part can.
Resident Jo Edkins, who had number six on the calendar – and who also runs a website dedicated to the Gwydir Street community (theedkins.co.uk/jo/gwydir/index.htm) – explained: “It’s organised by the local Gwydir Street community called Gwydir Street Friends.
“They set up a few years ago and they do all sorts of things, like helping people to borrow tools, or arranging meet-ups, and they’re encouraging hedgehogs...”
Jo continued: “Last year, everyone was feeling miserable because of Covid and somebody came up with this idea. It was shared online and everyone thought it was a wonderful idea, because if we decorated windows then people could get out and exercise safely. The idea was one house each day revealed the next number. It was a great success so we decided to do it this year.”
Jo, who notes that other streets around Cambridge have done a similar thing, says that every resident on Gwydir Street received a note through the door inviting them to join in. “If you say yes, then at the end of November you get given your number and you’re told to keep it secret,” she revealed.
“Then everyone designs their own windows, but there’s no competition – everyone does the best they can. The window doesn’t have to be Christmas-orientated; it could be anything. The only requirements are it’s got the number and it should be lit up. Then you put it up on your day, and the result is that everybody who walks down Gwydir Street will find, hopefully, a new window each day.”
If more than 31 people want to participate, numbers are duplicated. “Nobody’s turned down – and they stay up till January 5,” she said, adding that she suspects it will become an annual tradition. “It’s fun to do, it’s fun to go out and look yourself, and it’s also fun to feel that other people are looking at yours,” said Jo, who takes photographs of the windows, which can be seen on her website.