This weekend many of us will dig the tree out from the loft or bring one in from outside, to decorate with tinsels and baubles like we do each December. On Saturday December 2 communities across the region will be filled with festive goodwill, at the sight of familiar trees in their own neighbourhoods, adorned with beautiful, unique and meaningful decorations.
#WeMadeThis is a community craft project that began after Miranda Van Rossum, having been inspired by the 100 yellow ribbons she made for Yellow Day, put a call out through Social Media, for communities to come together from across the city, to create Christmas tree decorations. ‘It’s amazing the way the different groups have come together,’ she says.
Very quickly the numbers snow-balled with everyone from the crèche to the care home taking part: the youngest maker is just fourteen- months old whereas the oldest is a sprightly 102.
Over the last few months in every spare hour, an army of crafters and makers, have been knitting and stitching, embossing and crocheting, cutting and sticking, painting and shaping, a treasure trove of brilliant decorations. The decorations to be hung in the trees, all respond to the history and heritage of each area.
In Orchard Park the Angel Procession – started in 2000 by Mary Clear – is remembered with lots of angels hanging in the branches of a tree near the Orchard Centre whereas on the Avenues, you will find a tree covered in bees.
Gemma from the Avenues group who has hand-knitted a beautiful bee and a little Bee Lady said, ‘These are for the tree at St Cuthbert’s Church Marlborough Avenue, the bee theme is inspired by the bee-keeping showcased at open gardens held each summer.’
The tree outside the famous Welly Club will be sporting, yes you guessed it ‘wellies’ and also glittery musical notes and Julie Smith has been making football boots for the tree near the KCOM Stadium. Barbara Denison has made some scholarly felted books to hang on a tree on the university campus each carrying a positive affirmation to inspire and reaffirm the power of community.
The W.I Ladies and Hedon Brownies have made lots of different pigs, some oven-baked, some are paper mache, some stuffed toys all will find their home on the tree in Market Hill. Pat from the Holderness group said, ‘The pigs represent the pig-farming found all along the Holderness Coast.’ The pig decorations are to be sold to raise money for charity, in the New Year, at the Hedon Museum. Helen, Alison, Chris, Susie and Jenny from the Hedon Group said, ‘We’ve met some new people, making the decorations is bringing us together, we think the tree will be a talking point in the community.’
Over in Bransholme residents of the Kestevens Grange Care Home have joined in by making propellers and plane shapes for the tree at Northpoint Shopping Centre. Allyson and Helen Everington from the Bransholme team said, ‘The residents- aged from 70 – 102 – remember the barrage balloons flying overhead, they have been having creative and therapeutic conversations about RAF Sutton on Hull, the airbase the new estate was built upon.’
The way that, through Miranda’s vision and encouragement, the communities have pulled together over the last few months, has definite echoes of the wartime spirit of camaraderie and make-do and mend.
#WeMadeThis represents the creative DNA of the region, with kids from St John’s and St Nicholas Primaries Beverley all making cows reflecting life on the Westwood. 5 scouting groups are involved; over 400 pupils from Bricknell Primary, as well as Appleton and Preston Primaries; there is Lonsdale Community Centre; the Twisted Stitches Group, Artlink and Bransholme Community Arts Enterprise; not forgetting Scrapstore, Open Doors and Judy’s Attic. In all, thirty trees, across the region, have been selected for the unique festive trimming.
Some of the decorations are so desirable the hand-baked pigs for example or the finely crafted butterflies and bird-feeders made by the Rainbows and Guides of the 65th Hull (Holderness Road Methodist) Rainbows and Guides that they are to be sold at the end of the project to raise funds for local charities.
#WeMadeThis begins Saturday Dec 2 and continues until Dec 10
Download a Map HERE! to visit the trees in your area and lookout for a short film made by drone operators Octovision as they point their aerial cameras on these public spaces transformed by their communities into places filled with warmth and festive cheer.
Liz Dees from the Scrapstore group said, ‘It will brighten up some drab corners providing an eco-friendly alternative to costly Christmas lights bringing a sense of Christmas to different parts of Hull.’
Follow #WeMadeThis on Twitter