The Malden Manor Christmas Bash was a Cracker!
On the 7th of December, members of the Malden Manor Community Group, local residents, Sustrans staff and volunteers came together to host the annual Malden Manor Christmas Event.
Kingston Council closed the road outside the shops and we started setting up bright and early erecting marquees, tables and chairs. The group pulled together to ensure that each activity was up and running, sign-posted, decorated in finest festive crimbo bling and ready for the masses by 3pm. We even had time for a cup of tea and a natter before opening!
There were a huge rage of activities on offer. Andy and the church organised a nativity-scene photo booth and a wonderful games marquee. The Rudolf ring-toss was a particular hit!
Our fabulous Father Christmas was drafted in last-minute and did a sterling job handing-out pressies and Christmas cheer to a huge queue of eager children. One of our favourite moments was spotting Santa ordering his chips in Capital Cafe!
We also had arts and crafts, biscuit decorating, a nail bar, face-painting, a choir and a band (playing seasonal bangers) and the ever-popular cake and mulled-wine stall! We even had a real life fire engine, complete with a full entourage of fire-fighters, who, not-only let us have a nose around the engine, but also demonstrated incredible speed and agility when they received an emergency call and raced off to respond, sirens blaring. A reminder that our heroic emergency services are always on duty, even at Christmas!
The two-hour event came and went in a flurry of smiles, excited chatter and marvelling faces. First the Richard Challoner students graced the scene. This year we were prepared for their arrival with extra cakes, in the knowledge that the sweet treats would be quickly demolished by the wave of hungry pupils!
Next came a merry mix of families and local residents of all ages, from kids jostling to see Santa, to parents propping up the mulled-wine stall. Several runs were made to the local Co-op to replenish the stock of biscuits and mince pies, and our fabulous activity facilitators reported cramping fingers, but a huge sense of well-being after a 2-hour whirlwind of adorning cheeks with Christmas teas, snazzing up nails, icing biscuits and making paper-chains!
Come 5 o’clock, the crowds began to ebb and the committed crew of volunteers were tired and rosy-cheeked from a combination of festive feelings, December chill and mulled wine! We packed up swiftly and were back home having a well-deserved cuppa or (in the case of the Sustrans staff) on the train, chips in hand! All in all, it was a great day of festive fun! Wonderful to see community members mingling, chatting, soaking up the festive ambiance and pulling together to put on a fab, festive event.
A huge thank you to everyone involved in organisation, preparation, help on the day and to each and every participant. All your hard work and festive cheer contributed to an unforgettable event that went off without a hitch! We’re already looking forward to next year!
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Sustrans and the Malden Manor Community Group!