A CHRISTMAS art project which has been successful in Manningtree will be extended to two seaside towns in Tendring. 

The Lemmings Theatre, in Manningtree, started its Christmas art trail four years ago to involve businesses, artists and the creative community in spreading the festive spirit. 

With specially decorated windows, the town would reveal a new piece of art at a time for residents and visitors to enjoy. 

This year, Clacton and Brightlingsea have joined the tradition and will display their own trails during the twelve days ahead of Christmas. 

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

“It becomes a real community event where people come out at night when we light them at dusk,” said Mandy Rose, founder of the Lemmings Theatre. 

“And then that period between Christmas and New Year, when everyone's sitting around thinking what I am going to do?” 

The idea was inspired by a magazine article and Mrs Rose wanted to bring the idea to Tendring. 

“I literally got handed a magazine about five years ago with someone saying, oh, it's nice, doesn't it?," she said. 

"And it was a town somewhere in Shropshire that was doing exactly this, and I thought, let's do that that's great.” 

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

The Clacton Creatives, a group in Clacton, have taken on the challenge to create a similar experience in their hometown. 

Businesses were approached and paired with artists from around the town, who would design a shop window around the theme of “Christmas songs”. 

“It's an opportunity really for local businesses and local artists to work together,” said Rosie Georgiou, the head of the Clacton Creatives 

“One of the nice things was we've tried to match artists according to partly their aesthetic and also the song choices.  

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

“We connected an artist with Brooks barbers, and they already followed the artist on Instagram and said how delighted he was that they were working together. So that they're a real match made in heaven.” 

The Manningtree trail will start on December 1 and was designed to be like an advent calendar with each day before Christmas revealing a new window in homes and businesses. 

Clacton will start the trial on December 12 and Brightlingsea on December 13 with only 12 windows each, but the organisers are looking forward to expanding the project in the following years.