Published: 11:10, 06 December 2017
Twinkling shop-window displays are transforming Gravesend’s high street this Christmas, thanks to the hard work of shop owners and their staff.
From trees made of books to a ceiling covered in baubles, the unique decorations are delighting visitors to the town centre.
Charlotte Barton, manager at Made in Kent, decided on a homemade theme for her display at the charity shop, from which all the proceeds are being donated to mental health charity North Kent Mind.
It features pieces from Kent artists including The Little Cottage Art Company in Cobham and Gertrude Nahn, based in Gillingham.
Charlotte said: “I decided to keep to a natural, wooden theme because it fits in with our products and what we do within the community.
“We are helping people with mental health issues get back into work, whilst encouraging people to give more this Christmas.”
Kate Howard, owner of Auntie’s Treasures in Gravesend Borough Market, spent over five and a half hours creating her glittering bauble display, and is using the eye-catching attraction to raise money for north Kent hospice charity ellenor.
Shoppers can pay a pound to guess the number of baubles hanging from the stall’s ceiling, and in the past Kate has had as many as 1,179 of the decorations.
Kate describes herself as “Christmas crackers”, and will be announcing this year’s winner on Saturday, December 23.
Other shop owners who have gone the extra mile this year include Sarah Cheshire, owner of the Forget-Me-Not vintage and craft store in Gravesend High Street, who spent a week perfecting her frosty shop front of snowflakes and festive items for sale.
Another is Amanda Pay, manager of Gravesend’s British Red Cross Charity shop in Windmill Street, who found the idea for her inventive Christmas tree made entirely of books on Facebook, after the store’s decorations from last year were mislaid.
Amanda said: “It’s a joint effort between all of us.
“We all chip in and add our little bit of influence.
“I am already thinking about next year’s window.
“We will have to go bigger and better than ever.”
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