Walking in a Window Wanderland! Houses to light up in Ipswich

For the third year running, Ipswich windows will light up with fabulous creations.

For the third year running, Ipswich windows will light up with fabulous creations. - Credit: Joanna Oldham

For the third year running, houses in Ipswich will light up their windows in a fantastic display of creativity and community spirit next weekend. 

Houses in Warwick Road have been filling their windows with imaginative displays for three years, but have now been joined by their neighbours in the surrounding streets.  

This fabulous creation by Mary Uren celebrates the poet Amanda Gorman and the poem she read at Biden's inauguration.

This fabulous creation by organiser Mary Uren celebrates the American poet Amanda Gorman and the poem she read, 'The Hill We Climb,' at President Biden's inauguration. - Credit: Joanna Oldham

“We like trying to make our street look really positive, and show that people really care about their community,” explained one of the organisers, Joanna Oldham.  

Window Wanderland first began nationally in 2015 in Bristol. It was the brainchild of Lucy Reeves Khan, a set designer who was trying to combat the isolation she was suffering following years of chronic illness.  

The displays seek to lift everyone's spirits on dark winter nights.

The displays seek to lift everyone's spirits on dark winter nights. - Credit: Joanna Oldham

Joanna and fellow organiser, Mary Uren, were inspired to bring the Window Wanderland to their street in 2020, and registered Warwick Road. 

“So, we had our first Wanderland in January of 2020, two months before the pandemic hit,” said Joanna. “Of course, nobody had any idea what was to come back then. We were all blissfully ignorant, thinking the world was just going to carry on as usual.” 

People put much effort into their window displays, and make sure their streets exude positivity.

People put much effort into their window displays, and make sure their streets exude positivity. - Credit: Joanna Oldham

However, Window Wanderland is perfectly suited to life under Covid. 

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“It’s a good way of getting out in the fresh air, and you’re not standing cheek-by-jowl with other people,” says Joanna. 

With displays like this clown face, you can hardly fail to crack a smile.

With displays like these, you can hardly fail to crack a smile. - Credit: Joanna Oldham

“It gets neighbours out and about, chatting together. It's lovely to see families coming out in the evening, taking photos and marvelling at the displays. 

“This year, we’ve moved it to February to tie in with half-term, so families can make their creations during the week in time for the weekend. 

“There’s no theme at all, whatever you feel inspired to do!" 

People spend a lot of time planning their creations, like this striking silhouette.

People spend a lot of time planning their creations, like this striking silhouette. - Credit: Joanna Oldham

Ipswich Borough Council has given funds to print leaflets, which have encouraged many to register their homes. 

You can also visit Winter Wanderland’s website for more information. 

This year, houses will be taking part in Warwick Road, Palmerston Road, Lancaster Road, Alexandra Road, Nottidge Road, Bartholomew Street, Belle Vue Road, Ashmere Grove, Post Mill Close, Upton Close and Grove Lane. 

Winter Wanderland for Warwick Village will take place on Saturday, February 26 and Sunday, February 27 from 6pm to 9pm.  

Many hours of effort go into these displays, to fill the streets with cheer on dark winter nights.

Many hours of effort go into these displays, to fill the streets with cheer on dark winter nights. - Credit: Joanna Oldham