The Making of the Grotto!

Here’s the story behind the making of the Anstey Library Grotto.  So many people were involved, I lost count after 30 (when you start including all the donations of decorations, and ideas that people put forward, and just the huge support and enthusiasm from everyone locally for the project.)  So I’ll just start with a huge thank you from Helen and myself for everyone’s hard work and effort.

In October we got the news that the Library had been invited by the Anstey Gala Committee to host Santa this year – and that we’d need to build a grotto …

… So Helen called her carpenter friend Des, who visited us one Saturday to measure up for the wooden screens needed to hide the kitchen units and create a cosy grotto within the Family room – which usually looks like this (a brilliant space … but not very grotto like.)

surestart panoramic

Anstey Community Library Family Room



Our volunteer carpenter, Des

We explained our plans to build a cardboard fireplace and maybe paint a window …. so Des surprised us by building a beautiful window and fireplace out of wood – that means our grotto will last for years to come.



Meanwhile we started looking through Brian Kibble’s Anstey Archive for the perfect picture to hang above the fireplace – and with the help of Samson and Mike, found a great picture of the Anstey Barrow Race.


Brian Kibble Archive Photographs

The Grotto was delivered to Beck and Andrew’s garage, by Kev and Martin ….

…. where Brenda and Jim kindly volunteered to paint the grotto, with an extra helping hand from Archer and Zen.


Brenda and Jim



Zen, Archer, Brenda and Jim



Andrew, Brenda and Jim

I should add a thank you here for Archer, Zen, Dexter and Jasper lending us their Christmas Stockings for the fireplace, and helping to find all the Christmas decorations.


Kev and Des arrived to transport the newly-painted grotto back to the library for all the props that Helen had sourced, and all of the artwork that Racheal had been preparing.


Des and Kev


Zen, Des and Kev



Back at the Library, Des added LED lights and drilled in all the fixings.  Penny had made beautiful curtains for the window and Racheal had designed a window with a view out to Old John.




Racheal also gathered  and arranged all of the fresh foliage that decorated the grotto, and the grotto door.



That takes us up to last Friday afternoon, the day before the gala ….. more to follow soon 🙂

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