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Gallery: Street comes together to light up Christmas

“Covid brought us together” - that’s the views of residents in Everingham in Orton Brimbles who have come together to celebrate Christmas and decorate the street.

During the first lockdown residents Mia Downs and Becky Adams set up a WhatsApp group to keep in touch with everyone and make sure they are all okay.  

Little did they know this was the start of a new friendship for the community. 

Peterborough Matters went along to meet the residents and look around the fantastic Christmas décor they have all put up around the street. 

Mia and Becky said: “It started in the lockdown. We thought 'let’s get the street together'. 

“We set up a Whatsapp group and arranged Bingo nights and game nights on Saturdays on the doorsteps – all socially-distanced. 

“People’s birthdays were celebrated in the streets, so that brought us together. We have a Christmas tree and we thought 'why don’t we decorate it all?' Everybody decorated their houses. It was so nice to drive home when it was lit up.

“Everybody chipped in, and we went and got all the decor, decorated the tree and had mulled wine. This was last year - it gave people something to look forward to, especially the elderly who felt so isolated. Come weekend, people looked forward to it, sitting on the front garden, drinking and chatting to each other. It was lovely. 

"It gave something for people to look forward to. Friendships and relationships have been formed. We just said our hellos before but now we are here for each other. Looking out for each other. The WhatsApp group is very active. 

“There are 22 houses here on the street and most of them took part – two of them like to keep themselves to themselves, but we make sure to keep them informed of anything that’s happening. 

“So we have carried on this year as well.  And now there’s such a great community spirit on this street. Kids playing together, in and out of each other’s houses when it was allowed. Like the old times, it’s wonderful.  So, it’s fair to say with all the doom and gloom and all the awful times, but communities have come together. It’s almost like going back to your childhood. You can trust each other. You are always welcome. 

“One of the families here, joined the street in the first lockdown. They were a couple with a newborn child, and didn’t know anybody. Her husband was taken to hospital with Covid, and we all tried to help them. He came back and we all stood on the street and there was a round of applause for him, people were crying. It made it real and for them it was very heart-warming. 

“We hope other streets can take inspiration from us. 

“Even in the summer we had a big screen here and watched the Euros together. It was fantastic. We did the VE Day and put bunting out. So, we have made some great memories.” 

Green councillor Julie Howell was also present on the street chatting to residents.

She said: “It’s so heart-warming to see a community of residents come together to create this lovely display. Every house in the street is decorated in bright colours and they have even created a life-size Father Christmas. We hope other communities will feel inspired and get together to do the same. But Everingham will be a hard act to follow!”