I love this specific area of Bedford not just for it's awesome cake-spot 'Fancy' which does the most amazing Christmas stollen, and for the friendliest pub you could ask to have a drink in The Burnaby Arms, but mainly because of its incredible community - who regularly come together to make awesome things happen in our wonderful town.
There are a handful of mega-fantabulous women all based in the Black-Tom area who make this greatness happen - namely Emily Finney, Katrina Allen, Erica Roffe and Janet Lehain - once you know these ladies, you know Bedford as far as I'm concerned. Their drive and passion makes really great things happen in our town - and I try hard to support their efforts whenever I can.
One of the things I adore about Bedford is its incredible community: networks of amazing people who work really hard to make sure that brilliant things happen in our great town. I hope I am becoming part of that tribe, and my work with the WI and my lovely friend Liz certainly made me feel on-the-map in terms of my place within Bedford culture.
Last weekend's festivities came in the form of a wonderful social initiative window-trail aptly named 'Winter Wanderland' arranged by the fabulous Emily and Kat. The idea being that the residents of Black-Tom were offered the chance to sign up and submit a decorated window display in their home for the people of Bedford to enjoy as part of a trail on foot.
We arrived at Black Tom after a good 40 minute walk from our house - as my regular readers will know, I pretty much walk everywhere and always try to get out on foot as much as possible, it's a brilliant excuse to get some air and plenty of exercise. We were super excited about what was to come as we'd never been to anything like this before.
Kat handed us a map of all the houses taking part on arrival and we headed straight to my friend Janet's house to start the walking trail. Her window was fabulous, her family were swelling with pride at what they had created, and we even got to purchase a delicious bag of homemade pistachio fudge to fuel us around the trail.
Janet's brilliant window!
We were delighted to see so many houses had taken part and we spent over an hour and a half working our way through the roads to see the stunning displays - what a lot of work everyone put in to making our experience as trail-walkers just marvellous.
I wanted to share with you the pictures I took on the night - to encourage you to make this happen in your own hometown next Christmas - it was a beautiful way to feel festive, come together as a community, be creative and a really healthy way to spend an evening (minus the fudge!).
You can find out more information about creating a Winter Wanderland in your own town here.
So here we go, my little gallery from the Bedford Winter Wanderland 2015...enjoy lovely people and I hope this post leaves you feeling super-festive!
BEDFORD BLACK-TOM WINTER WANDERLAND 2015
These really are just the highlights, so many people took part and there was so much to see - I loved seeing the diversity in people's designs and creativity - aren't the people of the Black Tom area just a wonderful bunch?
Bert absolutely loved discovering all the amazing displays, lights and so on as we pushed him round in his buggy. He was so well behaved, and totally adorable saying "wow mummy, look!" when he saw a window that particularly grabbed his attention. Towards the end of the trail we saw this window, and Bert's reaction was adorable...
"Wow Mummy, look, cat window sleeping curtains!"
He absolutely loved this "display" - haha it just goes to show that it's the little things that kids appreciate! Our cute little cat lover was chuffed to bits with this window. :-)
Huge thanks to Kat and Emily for organising such a great event - I can't wait to visit again next year, and hopefully see even more residents taking part!
Does your community come together to make awesome things like this happen? I'd love to hear about it.