Is This Ealing's Most Neighbourly Street?

Residents in West Ealing raise spirits in uplifting show of community

St James Avenue in W13, embracing the Christmas spirit

A street in West Ealing has been applauded after neighbours joined forces and put on a moving show of solidarity with their 2020 Christmas lights.

Residents on St James Avenue have connected all their houses with festive lights on both sides of their road and created a bright and uplifting display which has been widely praised.

The road, close to Sainsbury's, has traditionally had a strong community spirit; hosting regular Play Streets, a Big Lunch in summer and cleaning the road of fallen leaves in Autumn.

During the first lockdown many Ealing neighbours joined together and formed social media groups to chat and help each other, St James Avenue already had one.

Organiser Andrew Brixey-Williams told Ealing Today: '' Last December I suggested on the road's WhatsApp group that we try to do a bit of Christmas lighting this year, and then it struck me that of all years, given what we're all going through, this was the one that demanded some light, joy and connection.''

He suggested running lights the entire length of the road, connecting every house in one simple strand. All the neighbours supported the idea and sourced 200m of warm white LEDs which were put up the last weekend of lockdown 2. They made an occasion of it, with a countdown, Christmas music and then the grand switch on.

Mr Brixey-Williams said: '' Four households are 'hosting' the four plugs and the overall cost is being shared between everyone in the street, with a bit extra for the households supplying the electricity.

''The symbol of connection and unity that the strands of light represent in otherwise isolated and discombobulated times seems to have struck a chord in many hearts, and we're really hopeful that other streets will follow our lead and do something similar.''

His post on a local Social media group has had a huge and positive response, approaching 1200 likes and many commenting about what a great idea it was.

Mr Brixey-Williams says he'd love to see other roads lit-up and is willing to share hints and tips.

The lights are now attracting visitors and can be seen from 4.30pm each evening.


Annemarie Flanagan

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1 December 2020