In March 2020 Maggie and Sandra, two residents of Cookham Green in Wellard, shared a birthday. This was at the start of the COVID restrictions, so neighbours Lis and Troy were inspired to host a neighbourhood birthday celebration and invited everyone to come out into the street to sing “Happy Birthday.” This was followed by a long and happy chat between neighbours, who had been isolated for some time.
The Sunday morning birthday celebration was so well received, that comments like, “Let’s do it again!” led to further get-togethers every Sunday morning since, weather permitting.
Special days, such as Anzac Day and Mother’s Day were celebrated with Anzac biscuits and homemade cakes by Lis and Troy.
But this wasn’t the first time the neighbours had been catching up. For many years, residents Pam and Richard have hosted an annual crayfish barbecue for their many friends in and around the street. This is a wonderful community occasion.
Living on cottage blocks, many residents leave their homes through rear garages and rarely through the front door. So the regular Sunday catchups and annual BBQ are an ideal way to maintain contact and friendship with neighbours.
Even the “reclusive” Andy, who most neighbours would see from afar and wave to, has become a regular at the Sunday catchups. And with a little input from some of the neighbours, the changes he’s made to his garden and home have been great to watch over the past months.
Neighbours have always been there to welcome newcomers into the street and most have a list of neighbours’ phone numbers and people are willing to mind keys and collect mail when neighbours are away.
The street isn’t immune to crime but knowing that their neighbours are just next door and respond to house alarms or unusual noises has contributed to this lovely street feeling like they wouldn’t live anywhere else. Resident Tony said, “If we won lotto and moved, we would have to take our street with us!” Residents don’t live on top of each other, they look out for each other. Whether it’s responding to an alarm, sharing food and gardening tips or keeping an eye on someone’s house while they’re away.
Cookham Green is a friendly street where people know each other, wave and say hello and care about their neighbours. It’s a lovely street to live in.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us Cookham Green!