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Monday, 18 January 2021 04:09

Hope Springs Eternal: Malmesbury comes together in special trail Featured

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Malmesbury has hit headlines across the UK this week, due to the huge success of the Hope Springs Eternal Trail.

The town has found a way to come together despite lockdown restrictions to share joy and creativity in a safe and covid-friendly manner.

Residents of Malmesbury have decorated their windows to the ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ theme, the name taken from a line from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man.

Flowers, rainbows, butterflies, hearts and other colourful creations now adorn windows and perch upon doorways.

Fantasy creatures - such as dragons and mermaids - can also be spotted on the trail.

The idea first came about thanks to Malmesbury resident Jackie Peel. Rather than take her Christmas trees down on January 6, she began to brainstorm a way to ensure the spirit of the town's Christmas trail could continue.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Julie in her gardenJulie in her garden

She spoke with Julie Exton, organiser of Malmesbury's Christmas trail, then worked with Michele Fillingham, George and Krista Davies and Ben Thornbury to come up with the theme for the trail.

Malmesbury Abbey marks the unofficial beginning to the trail.

Jackie said: “We all thought 'Hope Springs Eternal' fitted the brief perfectly, and asked people to make use of butterflies, flowers and other colourful things. Anything that would make people smile, really.

"The trail is really taking off now, people have been inspired. There are spring wreaths on doors and children from local schools are now taking part. Care homes in the area have also got in touch to say they're creating things."

The response has been so strong that organisers of the Hope Springs Eternal trail have pushed back the deadline to register, and be included on the official trail map, until next weekend.

More than 100 homes are taking part in the trail, which has been featured in national press such as the Guardian.

Other areas - such as Pewsey - have also got in touch after being inspired.

Julie added: "The response is absolutely incredible , I had no idea it would go this far.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

"Every time I go for a walk and see something in the window, it lifts me and makes me smile.

"This particular lockdown has hit people hard, especially some elderly people who haven't seen anyone in months now, so to have people come together like this is special.

"Malmesbury is a very special town, the community is just incredible here. You can give them any challenge at all, and they'll rise to it."

The trail also inspired by local writer Rosalyn English who, instead of decorating a window, used the power of her pen to take part.

Her work of art includes the line: “The universe, the magic, a mystery/Reliant on each other, always will be.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The poemThe poem

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Malmesbury Gazette & Herald