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Community spirit in the street

Submitted by Richard Harrison


The nature of ‘community spirit’ has been our street just a couple of miles from campus. My wife (along with Jane Openshaw who works in Estates for Warwick) set up a WhatsApp group right at the start of lockdown, which now has 45 houses involved and 100s of messages a day. Every time someone goes to the shops, a shout goes out and you go with a long list from 10 houses, if you need some paint, a crowbar, sunflower seeds, flour!, or a ladder…it will be delivered to your doorstep within 5 minutes. On a Monday one house organises the Really Awesome Coffee van to visit and we have social distanced queues stretching 30 metres, Tuesdays is a communal fruit and veg delivery, Wednesdays I take meat orders and on Thursdays pick up 10-15 bags of BBQ goodness from Taylor’s Butchers in Earlsdon. Thursdays we clap and sing happy birthday to anyone on the street celebrating, and Fridays Paul delivers the food bank collections we’ve put on his doorstep throughout the week, Saturdays we have Tea at Three with drinks and gossip from pavement to pavement and we rest on Sunday ;o)

There are some houses much more active than others, we have a secret Chocolate Fairy who leaves goodies on doorsteps at 6am every couple of days, and Nigel painted all the coping stones on garden walls up and down the street just to keep himself busy. Just this weekend I formed the Harewood Guerillas involving Nigel, myself and Jonty to restore our beautiful but dilapidated street signs…and we’ve instilled even more pride in this friendly and fun street. Next we are planning on lamppost flowers (they already have children coloured Lego Hero posters tied to them thanking the bin men and posties) and a wildflower meadow on a bit of scrub land.