The festive spirit comes to Walthamstow

Poster for Wood St festive gatheringAs followers of my facebook page may have spotted, I have been helping to organise a local community event in the Wood Street Plaza – the recently redesigned square that I have mentioned before. The Festive Gathering took place on Saturday afternoon, and I thought I’d give you something of a flavour of what happened.

Festively dressed German ShepherdMy other half Kay awarded a German Shepherd first prize in the Best Festive Dog Outfit competition.

Roger – landlord of the Nag’s Head in Walthamstow village – opened up his not-yet-ready café especially for the occasion. He also helped with the programme, sorted out tables and chairs and a PA, and provided mulled wine (non-alcoholic) and cakes. Our neighbour Rafiq’s daughter Farjaha donated some of her own home-made fairy cakes. Carols were sung, after a vote for the most popular choices (Silent Night, Ding Dong! Merrily on High and The Holly and the Ivy).

Our friend Nev (from local folk band the Stowicks) serenaded the café with his banjo.

Roger’s quartet of young friends with saxophones and clarinets serenaded the square with carols and – later – some swing (I think). Auntie Maureen did something very similar with her vintage 78s.

Some people danced (thinking of you, Clint). Ashley – who is doing some art-related things linked to the plans to revamp the nearby Wood St Indoor Market – made origami stars with children.

There was a good turnout – possibly helped by a plug in the Walthamstow Scene blog. Local resident Sarah came – she has a stall at the indoor market, and designed the poster. So did our three Ward Councillors Angie, Richard and Peter, Sam from Waltham Forest Council (with her family), Graham from the Safer Neighbourhoods Panel, our local police community support officer, Morag from the E17 Arts Trail and our good friend Carolyn from E17 Designers.

Wood St santaWe even had a late visitation from a big bearded fellow in a red and white suit, on his way back to Lapland after calling in to see his mate Steve (and some children) at the Soul Project down the road.

I’ve only two things to add. Thanks to absolutely everyone who helped and/or came. And next year will be even better.

O – and one more thing. Festive greetings one and all, and here’s to a playful 2012.

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