Residents at Thamesfield retirement village in Henley-on-Thames became a real part of Christmas this December when they joined the town’s living advent calendar.
Hiding the ‘surprise’ behind door number 18, the village staff and event sponsors, worked hard to organise the entertainment, whilst keeping the big secret until the day.
This free event, a collaborative project between the Henley Living Advent Calendar Trust, the Henley Partnership & Henley Town Council, provided the perfect opportunity for the village to raise funds for OxSar, who help vulnerable missing people in Oxfordshire.
At 6pm residents and locals enjoyed hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream, plus homemade snacks created by the village chef including mince pies, millionaire shortbread, gingerbread men and Christmas tree shortbread, in the grounds of the village.
Glass Ensemble, a female choir from Berkshire, was Thamesfield’s advent surprise, who sang beautifully in the rain!
A highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Santa and Mrs Claus (Eva Marie and Dave S Eggleton) who arrived on the back of the Oxsar boat (high river levels and fast flow meant the boat had to be driven onto site instead of arriving via the river) and impressed visitors.
“Despite the weather, the trusty British spirit meant everyone carried on regardless and a festive time was had by all,” said Cheryl George, Thamesfield’s village manager.