Thursday, 23 September 2021

All set for Living Advent Calendar

THE fifth Henley Living Advent Calendar begins on Tuesday.

THE fifth Henley Living Advent Calendar begins on Tuesday.

The annual charity fund-raiser involves 24 half-hour performances by singers, dancers and other acts each evening from December 1 to Christmas Eve.

The identity of each performer is kept a secret until they actually appear, just like opening a door on an advent calendar.

Each night will be dedicated to one charity, which will be able to publicise its work and hold a bucket collection. Richard Rodway, chairman of the Living Advent Calendar, said: ?It?s very much what we did last year in the sense that we like to put on a show.

?There will be some real festive razzmatazz and diverse experiences every night and something for the whole family.?

Last week the Henley Standard revealed the venues and sponsors for the first 12 nights and this week we do the same with the second 12.

Night 13 will be held at Hotel du Vin in New Street in conjunction with the Henley Literary Festival.

Olivia Navin, the hotel?s sales and events manager said: ?It brings everyone together and coming into the Christmas period we need that. We?ve got mulled wine at the ready!?

The following evening it will be the turn of The Bull on Bell Street, which is owned by Brakspear, in partnership with estate agent Philip Booth.

Emma Sweet, marketing manager for Brakspear, said: ?The calendar is a lovely community event. Pubs are the heart of the community, so we?re delighted to be involved.?

The Henley College will host night 15 in conjunction with Pachangas restaurant on the corner of Greys Road and Duke Street.

Robyn Vitty, the college?s head of marketing, said: ?We?re absolutely delighted to be welcoming the Living Advent Calendar to the college again. It?s a wonderful way to join in the festive period with the wider community.?

The River and Rowing Museum will host the following night in partnership with the Quince Tree in Stonor and interior designer Niki Schafer.

Henley town hall is the venue for night 17 in partnership with estate agent Knight Frank.

Sue Lewis, office manager, said: ?I think last year was the first time we had got involved and we really liked doing it.

?It was just such great fun and everybody came along and got into the Christmas spirit, so we?re looking forward to doing it again.?

Delegate House in Hart Street will host night 18 with Elizabeth Cleall Interiors.

Carolyn Molyneux, founder of Delegate Office and Conference Services, said the act would perform upstairs, overlooking the rear gardens.

She added: ?I hope lots of people join us for the Christmas cheer.?

Night 19 will take place at Henley fire station in West Street.

Station manager Marcus Reay told the Henley Standard: ?We?re really looking forward to it. I know from speaking to members of the public that this is one of the most highly anticipated nights.

?The crews have been working hard on this year?s performance and I?m sure they won?t disappoint.?

The d:two centre in Upper Market Place is the venue for night 20 in partnership with the Head Partnership solicitors.

The following night the venue is Henley Cricket Club in conjunction with cleaning services firm Ecoleen.

Club chairman Brian Kenworthy said: ?We?re delighted to support what we think is a wonderful initiative.?

Nights 22 and 23 will take place in Market Place, sponsored by the Cook Curry Club and the Chocolate Café respectively.

Kran Sondh, founder of the curry club, said: ?It?s a fantastic community project raising money for charity. I?m really looking forward to it again this year.?

The final night, on Christmas Eve, will be held at the west doors of St Mary?s Church.

The Rev Canon Martyn Griffiths, the rector, said: ?There was a time when perhaps people had forgotten what it was all about.

?The Living Advent Calendar reminds people that it?s a time of preparation, not just the mad preparation, but some of the more spiritual and important aspects of Christmas.

?We have hosted that last night now ever since the calendar started and it has been an appropriate place in front of the town?s main parish church to end advent.?

Higgs Group, publisher of the Henley Standard, is the main sponsor of the event. Other sponsors include the Head Partnership solicitors, CTC-aspire, Courtiers and Philip Booth. The Henley Business Partnership and Henley Town Council are also supporting the event.

The charities to have signed up to the event so far include Bishopswood Special School in Sonning Common, the Henley Regatta for the Disabled, youth and community group Nomad, Riverside Counselling, the Chiltern Centre for disabled children, Henley Music School, Sue Ryder and the Henley Festival Trust.

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