SPOTTED geese a laying, swans a swimming and a partridge in a pear tree in Stretford this Christmas? Don’t worry, you are not imagining it.

The Stretford community has come together to create its very own Living Advent Calendar this year.

Inspired by Saltaire’s popular annual event, decorated windows - representing each day of the advent and incorporating the 12 Days of Christmas – are currently lighting up Stretford.

Nicola Ward, who spearheaded the festive project, said: “There’s a tangible community spirit in Stretford at the moment, with so many positive ongoing projects achieving brilliant things for the area – Gorgeous Gorse Hall, Stretford Public Hall, the M32 Our Kids breakfast club to name but a few.

“We thought it would be a lovely festive, heart-warming and above all positive project to bring the community together and put a smile on people’s faces.”

Via social media, Nicola recruited windows in 24 locations, which are dotted across Stretford, including homes, organisations and even Stretford Public Hall.

A map (below) of the different themed windows was created so that residents could follow the calendar and Nicola said the reaction from the public has been ‘overwhelmingly positive’.

“People are loving the magical, Christmassy glow that seems to surround the windows and there’s a real excitement around what the next theme will be,” she said.

“None of the participants are professional artists and I think the amateur DIY approach adds to the heart-warming feel around the project – anybody could do most of the windows with a few cheap fairy lights, paper and glue.”

The windows will be on display until after the New Year and the project could soon become a Stretford tradition.

“We will definitely do it next year,” said Nicola. “It’s been remarkably easy to organise and the response so positive; I think we have to.”

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