TWO villages in the shadow of the Cleveland Hills are doing something very special during the lead up to Christmas, by creating an Advent windows trail.

Over the 24 evenings of Advent, 33 homes in Great Broughton and Kirkby will decorate and light up their windows. Each house, or pair of neighbouring houses, has been issued with a number which denotes which night they will light up their windows from dusk until late, right through the holiday period until 2021. The number given must also be shown in the window. On the notice board outside the Town Hall are the numbered residences, with a map of the village.

The community event is the original idea of resident, Noelle Darwent, who has worked on bringing the idea into fruition, with Lucy Lee.

"I got the idea from my friend in Lostwithiel, Cornwall who has been doing it for years," said Noelle. "I wanted to do it locally, but I am fairly new to the village and didn't know enough people. I asked Lucy because she seemed to know lots of people and has an interest in community events – she turned out to be an excellent person to work with. She has great communication skills and gets on with things."

"I loved the idea from the off," said Lucy. "It's creative, fun and inclusive. Noelle's far more techie than me and I'm the one who'd be found out on the street spreading the word. She did the bits I wouldn't be good at and vice versa. It's going to give our two villages that extra little bit of Christmas sparkle this year. We can wrap up and explore, giving us an excuse to stop, pause and smile."

The comments about the idea have been very positive, and both villages are proud to be involved in a creative idea which involves the community. Various residents have spoken about how impressed they are with the initiative.

"I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with. This is really impressive in these strange times," said one resident.

"It all looks really great, professional and well thought out. Well done!" said another.