Who would have thought at this time last year just what was ahead of us all. Certainly life has changed for Linda and I. Losing our dear friend Bob in early February was a shock and we were fortunate to be able to hold his funeral just before restrictions kicked in. Then lockdown began and the ‘new normal’ started.

For us, of course, apart from our loss, life has not changed that much. Being retired, we are used to having each others company day in and day out. We have missed our canal holidays and of course, going to the pub. Other than that, life has gone on and we are able to get everything we need delivered, both from local and national suppliers.

Of course, the lockdown(s) have been particularly hard on our local businesses. Open one minute, change everything round to reopen with restrictions, close again!

Well done to all our local businesses. You and your staff are our heroes and you should know that we appreciate you. You have gone above and beyond to support and supply us throughout this year. Without you, life would not have been anywhere near as tolerable.

I would also like to thank all our BCA members, new and old. We have had a record number of members joining this year and we have tried to support you in whatever way we could. We still have new ideas and, hopefully, we will have some new and fun things coming in 2021.

The new website, the monthly newsletter, the BCA support page, the Halloween trail etc have all proven popular and we will be looking to expand on these ideas. It is doubtful we will be able to run BareFest this year but we are really hoping Christmas on the Crescent will be able to go ahead. I am so proud of the BCA committee I could burst!

Whatever happens in 2021, I feel we are ready for it. The vaccination program gives us all hope that we are going to turn the corner. I will be wishing harder than ever that this new year is full of opportunities. We need to support each other more than ever, share each others pain, celebrate each others gladness and pull together as a village. We have never been so close as a community and I am so looking forward to hugging everyone in person again. It will happen!

So from us all at the BCA committee, may I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and a safe and optimistic New Year.

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