Looking at these fantastically festive photos, it’s difficult to believe the neighbours of King William Street in Tyldesley, Manchester, hardly knew each other’s names at the start of 2020.
But they’re ending it as one big extended family, after the challenge that is Covid-19, with its lockdowns and much more, forged a close bond and a true appreciation of community.
What started as a lockdown WhatsApp group, to pick up bits for each other at the shops, became doorstep quiz nights and bingo, along with a VE Day celebration.
And the community spirit has just carried on from there – ending the year with a massive effort to ensure this Christmas is one to remember for the right reasons.
Christmas street lights – thanks to Cadent
Earlier in the year, gas network Cadent needed to install some new gas pipes in the street. It gave a £20 goodwill gesture to some of the residents for inconvenience associated with the work.
“I am writing to let you know what we did with that money,” Melanie Cooke wrote in an email sent to Cadent this month.
“To bring a little happiness in what has been a difficult year, we decided to get together to decorate the street for Christmas.
“The money you provided went towards Christmas lights and last night was the ‘Big Switch On’.
“These lights have brightened up not only the residents of King William St but the whole community, who are paying the street a visit especially to see the lights.
“We have a street Carol Service organised for the 20th December and with the whole street lit up we are hoping it will be a magical event.
“Have a very happy Christmas – and I hope the photos made a little difference to your day.”
Cadent has since donated a further £100 to help the residents pay for some presents, mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies, for their suitably socially-distanced Carol Service. The street is also a finalist in Wigan Council’s ‘Christmas Street 2020’ competition
Jenny Moten, Director of Cadent’s North West network, said: “It’s been a challenging 2020 for everyone but in amongst that there’s been such amazing generosity and community spirit – in King William Street but also across our wonderful region. It was so lovely to receive this email and to see what the residents have done. We wish them all a happy Christmas too.”