Anyone who has lived in Fairfield for longer than a couple of years will be familiar with the spectacular show that residents put on for Halloween in the pre-pandemic era. Brunel Walk in particular has seen decorations almost as tall as the houses, light shows worthy of the West End, and residents turning out in full costume and stage make up to hand out sweets to all comers. And the comers came from far and wide, bringing both a whole lot of atmosphere to ‘Boonel Walk’ and a whole lot of traffic chaos to the surrounding streets. Fairfield Matters has already received emails from keen participants wanting to know whether the show will be back on in 2021 – so we spoke to some of those most in the know to see what they have been plotting.
The feeling in this only-just-maybe-post-COVID phase is one of wanting to return to enjoying the season without throwing caution to the wind. We will be seeing something a little more interesting than the nothing-at-all that happened last year, but from what we’ve heard 2021 is going to be a year of smaller-scale private parties rather than heaving crowds.
There will definitely be some decorated houses, and we would encourage people to take a walk around Fairfield and admire them, but – going against the usual rule of ‘it’s ok to knock if the house is decorated’ – several die-hard Halloween fans have told us that in spite of their plans to put out decorations they will not be handing out bucketloads of sweets to strangers this year. Which seems sensible. Encouraging large numbers of little hands to go from mouth to sweet bucket to mouth to sweet bucket just doesn’t sound quite right at a time of heightened awareness of hygiene.
However, expecting would-be trick-or-treaters (especially those from outside Fairfield, who definitely will not have read this article) to know not to knock does seem a little hopeful – and with that in mind, we have a few suggestions:
First, if you’re decorating the front of your house but not planning to hand out sweets, add a sign saying that, to prevent any knocking.
Second, consider putting your decorations up a day early, on Saturday 30th, so that there are two evenings in which your neighbours can come out to admire your handiwork and soak up the atmosphere. If there are no sweets being handed out anyway then you don’t even have to stay in and there will be no need for people to all converge in the same two-hour slot between dusk and kids’ bedtime on the 31st.
And finally, if you would like to trick-or-treat, why not get together with a small group of friends or neighbours and agree a trail of participating houses so that you can knock on just those doors? There are plenty of street WhatsApp and Facebook groups that would be perfect for advertising that you’re open to just a few very local visitors. It’s high time some of the houses away from Brunel Walk had a chance to get in on the action anyway. If you wanted to be really sure that nobody else would knock you could keep decorations hidden inside your house or garden, so that only those in the know would see them.
Whatever your plans, we hope your spooky season is both spectacular and safe – and if you’d like to share your hidden Halloween decorations with a wider audience we’d love to print your pictures in the November edition of Fairfield Matters – just send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.