So, it looks like the impossible has happened. For the first time is the history of Stratford upon Avon (and maybe the World-heaven forbid), Christmas has been cancelled.
This dreaded Virus (Covid 19) has succeeded where Scrooge failed.
The so-called Victorian Market (ha-ha – a cap and a shawl doth not a Victorian Market make) has been cancelled (and this time not because of a return of rickets). Father Christmas is on the ‘At-Risk’ list and there’s not enough of us left to form a street party.
The configuration of Covid 19 and Brexit (a coincidence or a conspiracy?) has caused food shortages with the only celebratory birds available and willing to be eaten will come from Trump’s America where everything, including Trump himself, have been dipped in Chlorine.
All in all, things are looking pretty grim.
Pre-Christmas enjoyment in the form of Stratford’s Mop fair looks like it’s on its way out even with the suggested introduction of new rules designed to protect the masses. The Wall of Death was cancelled for obvious reasons and even Mr Wilson himself had to agree that there was no profit (or fun) in one bumper car with one lone passenger.
It appears the only thing vaguely ‘Christmassy’ and on show in Stratford upon Avon will be the usual fantastic display of Christmas lights. However, not wishing to be too much of a doom and gloom merchant but I have to suggest that even that is in doubt with Mr Lights himself, Mick Love, retiring. The sad fact is that even if the shops that are left in Stratford upon Avon took it upon themselves to hang a string of brightly coloured bulbs across the streets, it could hardly be called a display.
No, I think we all have to face the fact that this dismal year of 2020 is going to be Christmas-less. The 25th will be like any other day. The 2nd wave will be upon us. The pubs will be closed and the streets will be in darkness echoing sadly with the sound of some brave soul rendering through his or hers mask, a version of ‘Silent Night’ punctuated by random coughs.
I like to think that all however, is not lost. I like to imagine that in households all over Stratford upon Avon, true British grit will be shining through. That somewhere from Justin’s Avenue to far-flung Trinity Mead, families in their bubbles of six will be crowding around the one bar electric fire (that I hear the Government is issuing to each household) singing carols and drowning their sorrows in a shared glass of last years’ sherry.
Merry Christmas everyone, merry Christmas Tiny Tim. I hope your cough gets better.