By Betsy Everett
The annual Christmas tree festival in St Oswald’s Church, Askrigg, open every day until January 2, showcases the talents of residents and tells the story of the village.
From the knitters and natterers who meet in the Crown Inn every Monday (and somehow manage to do both) to the Friday night whist group that meets once a month in the village hall, the arts, crafts, interests and skills of a whole community are crocheted, knitted, beaded and sewn into hundreds of exquisite decorations.
All the trees are sponsored and decorated by residents, and co-ordinator Elizabeth Fawcett says this year’s is the best ever.
The story continues after the adverts. . .
“We’ve been doing it now for about 10 years and every year it just gets better and better. This year, I have to say, tops them all. It’s just fabulous,” she told a packed congregation who came to view the festival at a preview concert.
The decorated trees and Advent windows – another Askrigg innovation – were featured in the Christmas edition of the national magazine Country Living, with an eight-page spread.
A window trail sheet, giving the locations throughout the village of each of the 24 windows which “opens” each day until the final one on Christmas Eve, is available from Humble Pie, Sykes’ village shop and the church. The Christmas trees can be viewed every day from 9am until 6pm when the church is open to visitors.