A different sort of Christmas

December 2020

Fill the foodbank cupboard for Christmas

Sports clubs in Nailsea are helping to collect groceries and other vital items to make up small Christmas hampers for people in the town who use the foodbanks.

Nailsea United FC is setting up a table for donations at The Grove Sports Centre and Social Club at St Mary’s Grove. Current opening hours are Friday 3-10pm, Saturday 9.30am-10pm and Sunday noon-8pm.

Footballer Robert Brown said anyone unable to make the Grove opening times may call him on 0755 709 1443 and he will organise collection.

And @the gym in Blackfriars Road will have a space just inside door by reception for donations which can be left Monday to Friday 6am-9pm, Saturday 8am-3pm and Sunday 9am-1pm.

Boss Matt Bembridge said: “We have access to a warehouse so we can store lots of items.”

The donations will be distributed via Nailsea Community Group who are based at 26 Somerset Square and The Trussell Trust who have a distribution depot at Clevedon at the beginning of December.

CHRISTMAS FARE: The Old Farmhouse pub at Trendlewood Way, Nailsea is delivering Christmas to its customers. Festive fayre complete with crackers can be delivered to where you work or live. For the menu and bookings click HERE or email farmhousenailsea@yahoo.co.uk. Christmas opening hours and menus to be added soon.

No deliveries Christmas 2020

The scouts Christmas post is cancelled for Nailsea and Backwell 2020.
2nd Nailsea chairman and Christmas post organiser Richard Simmons said: "After a great deal of thought and deliberation the organisers from 1st Nailsea, 2nd Nailsea and Backwell Scouts have reluctantly decided to cancel Christmas Post this year due to the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This seemed to be the only responsible course of action in the current circumstances.
"This would have been the 22nd year of the operation and we are sincerely thankful to Stephen Pring estate agent for sponsoring the cost of stamps from the very start.
"To all our customers, our sincere thanks for your support over the past years and I hope we can count on your support again in 2021.  
"You have helped raise vital funds for the three scout groups and also supported many other local charities.
"Best wishes to you and your families and I hope you all stay safe and healthy through these uncertain times."

IMAGE: Christmas past by Nailsea People

Bringing Christmas good cheer

The coronavirus may have cancelled the annual Christmas community lunch, but it will not stop visitors delivering festive stockings for those home alone on Friday, December 25

For nearly a decade a fabulous festive feast has been served at Nailsea Community Christmas Lunch at the Trinity Centre. But sadly, due to the coronavirus crisis this is not possible this year which will disappoint many.

Last year the Church Lane hall was bedecked in holly and festooned in decorations as nearly 100 guests enjoyed an afternoon of great entertainment, small gifts, and good cheer.

Concern that people who for a variety of reasons would be alone and not see anyone on Christmas Day – a loved one has died or their family and friends  live too far away – has led the group to rack their brains looking for an alternative treat for 2020.

And that is where YOU come in – can you spare a few hours on Friday, December 25, to deliver a small gift to those who would appreciate seeing a friendly face and while socially distancing spend a little time exchanging Christmas good tidings?

The Christmas community lunch group spearheaded by Lynda Dicks is looking for people to act at Father or Mother Christmas to deliver Christmas stockings filled with many homemade and donated goodies including nibbles made by the ‘resident’ chef Scottie Dyer.

Help is also needed wrapping presents, coordinating delivery addresses, and/or collecting donations from the many sponsors including Simpson's solicitors, Ward's solicitors, Tesco Nailsea supermarket, Ring O’Bells, Holy Trinity church and greengrocers SR Burchills.

Lynda said: “We are very grateful to Nailsea Town Council for a £100 grant and the businesses and supermarkets who have already pledged support.”

Lynda is also compiling a list of local restaurants/pub who will be serving Christmas lunch on Friday, December 25. If you would like to help and/or receive a visit call Lynda Dicks on 01275 853495 or email lyndadicks123@gmail.com.

GOOD CHEER: Article and photos from Christmas past

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS: Nailsea School PTC has a 'design a Christmas card' competition and entries close soon...all entries get 25 house points. Can't wait to seee the winner

LANGFORD TRUST:  Do you love animals and want to support Bristol Vet School's vital work to further the health and welfare of all animals? Buy our Christmas charity cards and you will help fund key research into heart disease in dogs, antimicrobial resistance on smallholder farms and a study into laminitis; a painful condition afflicting horses. Coronavirus has really affected fundraising this year. We hope our charity Christmas cards might raise some funds while making you smile. If you like to send Christmas cards please consider buying a pack of our cards and help Bristol Vet School continue it's vital research. See www.langfordtrust.org/shop or scan our QRcode. Please do SHARE. We really appreciate any support

Not sure how this is going to 'run' but from Friday to Sunday, December 11-13 Santas on the Run - goes freestyle! This is an online event raising money for Children's Hospice South West billed as Santas on the Run is back, but not as you know it! Registration opens Monday, October 19. Spread some festive cheer in your Christmas gear to raise money for local children. Click HERE for more information and spread some festive cheer in your Christmas gear to raise money for children living with a life-limiting condition this Christmas.

Playhouse Theatre says yes there will be a panto!

BREAKING NEWS: Following on from our earlier announcement that we’ll be presenting a socially distanced pantomime we’re delighted to announce that the super talented Derek Moran from Channel 5’s Milkshake will be joining us for this year’s socially distanced pantomime. 

Derek Moran started his training from a young age with the Billie Barry Stage School in Dublin, and was soon performing in shows throughout Ireland, including the King and I, Oliver and Mac and Mable.

At the age of sixteen Derek was signed by Warner Brothers Music as one of the band members in D-Side. With D-Side Derek enjoyed incredible success with three Top 10 singles in the UK and massive success throughout Europe and Japan including the number 1 album in the Japanese charts.

Derek has performed on many TV shows including Top of the Pops, The Saturday Show, Ministry Of Mayhem, MTV, This Morning, The Late Late Show and Ireland AM.

Derek has been one of the main presenters of Channel 5’s leading children’s TV strand Milkshake for 14 years. As well as presenting, Derek also directs and choreographs.  Most recently he choreographed the Milkshake Bop Box Boogie, and directed and choreographed the national theatre tour: Milkshake Live – Milkshake Monkeys Musical .

Derek is delighted to be spending this Christmas season in Weston-super-Mare.

This year’s socially distanced pantomime has a significantly reduced capacity so the theatre recommends that you book early to avoid disappointment as this year not everyone who usually attends will be able to due to social distancing and it’s on a first come, first served basis. 

Playhouse general manager Mark Thompson said: "Absolutely delighted to have Derek Moran in our cast this year. 

"I’ve been lucky enough to watch Derek’s career during the past 15 years and he’s a super talented performer who will bring something really special to this year’s socially distanced performance!

"Tickets are selling quickly and unfortunately social distancing restrictions means we can’t offer all that attend usually the opportunity to do so please purchase your tickets online soon to avoid disappointment."

Tickets for Sleeping Beauty are £20. All tickets can be booked from the Playhouse website www.theplayhouse.co.uk

The Playhouse Theatre plans to produce and create a socially distanced pantomime this Christmas for the community. 

The new show, Sleeping Beauty, will replace the planned production of Jack and the Beanstalk which will be postponed until Christmas 2021. 

General manager Mark Thompson said: "We’re keen to ensure that this year we still offer those who wish to attend a magical Christmas treat for all ages but with the continued restrictions around social distancing that makes a production of the scale we had planned for Jack and the Beanstalk impossible at this point whilst social distancing remains. 

“That being said, we believe that Christmas simply wouldn’t be Christmas without a Playhouse pantomime so we’re reinventing the spinning wheel and putting together a fantastic socially distanced pantomime of Sleeping Beauty. 

"Although it will be different than our previous productions to fit within the requirements of social distancing we’re bringing back some of our best loved professional performers from previous pantomimes who have all agreed to bubble together from two weeks prior to rehearsals, live together during the shows and give up their own Christmas with family and friends to ensure that they stay as a bubble and allow us to present this year’s festive show for the community”. 

Due to social distancing within the auditorium the show will have a much reduced attendance capacity. 

There will be less than half the number of seats available than those who actually watched our show last year and will be on a first come, first served basis. 

Unfortunately, the Playhouse is unable to offer everyone who attends annually the chance to come across the run so act quickly to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available via the website with plans to reopen the box office later this year being put together. 

The show will have an estimated running time of one hour 20 minutes long without an interval and all tickets are being priced at £20, a significant discount on the usual pantomime ticket pricing but in response to it being a different offering than usual. 

On top of this, the Playhouse Theatre are asking those who can to make an optional donation to the Friends of the Playhouse at purchase point due to the Friends assistance in bringing this year’s pantomime to life. 

Mark added:“The year’s pantomime wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of the Friends of the Playhouse, they have agreed to financially assist the venue throughout this time whereby we were forced to close overnight – the past six months have been a very difficult period in our history and a continued battle to ensure that we protect our much loved town’s home of live entertainment for future generations in an unprecedented national situation. 

"The Friends of the Playhouse once again have stepped up to ensure that not only do we survive this period but that we can offer the community a much needed Christmas extravaganza so that we all end the year on a more positive note than we’ve experienced so far and with an opportunity to smile and laugh together as a family. 

"Our gratitude of thanks simply do not even begin to repay the Friends for their support this year – the committee have been by our side both for moral and practical assistance all year with the support of the wider membership and this year that support has reached a new level with them doing exactly what they initially set up to do - be our guardian angels in our darkest moment of need.

"Therefore we’re asking the community to support the friends where possible with an optional donation on top of the ticket price so that they can continue to support us at this time and through our recovery back to our best – bringing the best of live entertainment to North Somerset”.

This year’s production will be produced by Mark Thompson and the management team at the venue on behalf of Parkwood Theatres with it being co-presented by the Friends of the Playhouse. 

Weston favourite, Mike Goble who directed and starred in the Aladdin pantomime in 2017 and Snow White in 2018 returns after a year out to direct this year’s socially distanced pantomime. 

He’ll also co-star. Snow White’s much loved dame, Richard Alan also returns with some other familiar faces yet to be announced. 

'Professional performers from previous pantomimes who have all agreed to bubble together from two weeks prior to rehearsals, live together during the shows and give up their own Christmas with family and friends to ensure that they stay as a bubble and allow The Playhouse, Weston to present this year’s festive show for the community'

The Playhouse is promising a fun filled, professional pantomime experience with those individuals we’ve all loved in prior pantomimes coming together to bring the best of yesteryear into one fun filled, entertaining show for the family. 

Those who have already purchased tickets to Jack and the Beanstalk will be contacted in due course by the venue with options on tickets. 

Please note, majority of the Playhouse team remain furloughed so responses are taking a little longer than usual to work through.    


  • All tickets £20 plus optional donation to Friends of the Playhouse purchased on a first come, first served basis with only 50 per cent of last year’s attendance available. To book click HERE.

Horrible Christmas

Tickets cost £49.50 per car (or sleigh) for the 2pm and 5pm performances and can be booked via Ticketmaster by clicking HERE.

Panto manager Neal Foster said: “As you’d expect from Horrible Histories, it’s not a traditional pantomime, but a journey through the story of Christmas in the company of the season’s most fabulous characters.

“Horrible Christmas will hopefully go some way to providing the laughter and cheer with this perfect story for the times this December.”


All photos: Chuffmedia

Bristol Hippodrome may have cancelled its 2020 pantomime, but national party group Car Park Panto are bringing the holiday event to Bristol Airport for a day.

Hosted in the airport’s car park, Horrible Christmas will show at 2pm and 5pm on Saturday, December 19.

Audience members will view the panto from their cars, to ensure social distancing and that no households mix.

The Car Park Panto is performance is part of a national tour with other bookings selling out fast.

It is hoped that the show, based on Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories books, will bring festive cheer to what will be a different Christmas to usual.

Bristol Airport retail operations manager Andrew Morris said: “This year more than ever families need to have the opportunity of enjoying theatre, entertainment and performances in a Covid safe way.

“This innovative approach will ensure that Christmas cheer and fun can be enjoyed by all the family.”

The team at Car Park Panto hope that they can ensure that 'one of the cornerstones of the Christmas period' can continue for families in Bristol and North Somerset as theatres across the city postpone the 2020 pantomimes.

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