With their twinkling lights, friendly volunteers and wealth of local knowledge, our village shops have been a lifeline during lockdown, offering deliveries or a phone and collect service for the most vulnerable. In her round up of these vibrant little stores, local resident Rebecca Smith discovers not just a huge range of essentials, but a treasure trove of Christmas gifts and goodies, many of them locally made.
It is all going to be a bit different this year. Whatever the ‘rules’, wine merchant Bruce Evans hopes there is a chance for us to celebrate the traditional feast of Christmas and mark the end of a terrible year in some style. Here he tells us what his family will be drinking on Christmas Day.
Crediton Parish Church’s famous Christmas Tree Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, could not go ahead this year for obvious reasons. But to keep the spirit of this joyous event alive, the Church has posted pictures of Christmas trees around the town as part of a festive Treasure Trail. Our picture editor Nancy Murgatroyd reports on Crediton’s historic link with the Christmas tree tradition and shares some stunning images of previous Christmas Tree Festivals.
Pubs have had a really tough time this year, with lockdowns and constantly changing guidelines to cope with. But our amazing award winning village pubs have risen to the challenge, offering takeaway meals and drinks, deliveries and even opening shops on their premises. As they reopened after Lockdown2, still with Tier 2 restrictions, our editor Rosemary Stephenson did a tour of the villages to see how our pubs have been adapting and what they are offering over the festive season.