Customer, 101, to open giant Advent calendar window

Birchill and Watson have invited their oldest customer, 101-year-old Lilian Ward from Stone, to open their Advent shop window.

In the build-up to Christmas 24 shops, businesses and organisations will each decorate their shop on the theme of a carol, which will be unveiled on a different day in December, and Mrs Ward will open the chemist’s window in the town’s High Street on Monday  (December 13) at 10am. The shop have chosen Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer as their theme.

The community project involving businesses, schools and churches has been organised by Christ Church member Pam, who was inspired by similar projects in Welwyn Garden City and Brockley, London.

“It’s great, the project has brought a real buzz to the town,” said Pam. “Everyone is talking about it now.”

A different shop will open another window each day until Friday, December 24.

One of the more unusual windows will be at Taylored Floors where Stone Baptist Youth Group have helped decorate the window and will open it on Saturday, December 11 at midday. Their theme is Jingle bells and the teenagers will sing the song, give a puppet show as well as handing out hot chocolate and offering a free Christmas wrapping service.

Tomorrow (Thursday) the art department at Alleyne’s High School, who have put their artistic skills to good use at the Blue Room will open their window (theme Good King Wenceslas) at midday while on Friday (December10) Christ Church First School, who have helped Yarn Gathering, whose theme appropriately is While Shepherds watched their flocks, will unveil the window at 4pm.

On Sunday (December 12) Barry Lakin, of the Mosty Lea Mill, will open The Mill window (theme O come all ye faithful) at midday; on Tuesday it’s St Michael’s School at Shelter at 10am (theme Silent Night) while on Wednesday it’s the Brownies who will unveil the Wikijum window at 10am (theme We three kings).

Children and adults will also have the chance to win a prize. Maps will be on offer throughout the town and in each shop, there will be a stamp with a date on which their window was opened. Children who collect all 24 stamps will receive a small gift at Christ Church on Christmas Eve and the first adult with 24 stamps will receive a free cut and blow dry at Shear Genius Hairdressers.

For more details ring Pam and David Pott on 01785 286474 or email

Press release issued by John Butterworth 01785 817465