Christmas Eve! Advent Calendar Window No. 24. Church Cottage, Church Street.

Appropriately, after 23 days through ice, snow, wind and rain (and a great deal of effort by all concerned) the Village Advent Calendar Expedition puts a man on the summit just in time for Christmas! More pictures in “rest of this entry”,

















The window is unveiled and the story can be told…….


….the long journey to base camp…..


….heroic struggles on the lower slopes….


….and finally to the summit!







And so, after 24 days of early evening assemblies of people of all ages with their children and dogs, in all kinds of weather, frequently in near darkness, we come to Christmas itself. A sense of village community; of friendship; of caring for each other; of tolerance and goodwill, has manifested itself on a daily basis. Many newcomers to the village have been made welcome in the true spirit of Christmas and indeed, in the “Spirit of Sulgrave” as one of the window displays puts it. In retelling a little village story from 50 years ago I seek no recognition for a simple act of good neighbourliness but simply hope to demonstrate how the Christmas spirit can bring people together and form friendships to last a lifetime.

In the 1960s an elderly couple from Erdington in Birmingham bought (and named) Claremount in Little Street for their retirement years. They were a Mr and Mrs Wallington. Sadly, Mr Wallington died within a very short time, leaving Mrs Wallington on her own. Molly and I, with 5 year old Catherine and baby Susan were living opposite their house in Dippers Cottage, as indeed we do now (for the second time). On Christmas morning 1968, we were preparing a little family Christmas lunch, just for the four of us, when there was a knock at the door. Mrs Wallington stood on the doorstep. “Happy Christmas”, she said, and then ” but I am so very lonely….may I please come in and sit with you for a little while….I will be absolutely no trouble”! Of course she was invited in and of course she stayed for lunch and of course she stayed for tea and supper. She was as good as her word and initially said very little but soon became an entertaining companion. Thereafter she became a family member. The girls adored her. She was a fine seamstress and had an attic full of silks and satins. She entertained the the girls for hours by helping them to make all sorts of amazing dresses, thus:






The little girls became big girls and can be seen in the picture below serving tea at this year’s Christingle Service.




Colin Wootton


2 Responses to “Christmas Eve! Advent Calendar Window No. 24. Church Cottage, Church Street.”

  1. Ingram Lloyd says:

    Dear Mrs Wellington, I didn’t know she was a seamstress, what fun for Catherine and Susie. I do remember that she had a large and very friendly ginger tabby cat which used to sit in her windowsill and watch passers by.

  2. John Hare says:

    How lovely to see so many people having such fun and really caring about their village. The care and love is apparent not only at Christmas and it’s a joy to see. Long may it last!

Leave a Reply