If you’re stuck looking for a gift for your loved one this Valentine’s Day you’re in luck! We’ve invited some small and local businesses to come along to the village hall, they’ll be selling a wide range of handmade products and other great gift ideas. This includes jewellery, personalised gifts, cards, gift vouchers, candles, wax melts, ornaments, stationary, indoor plants and more! Entry to the event is free and we’ll even have some free refreshments on offer.
And that’s not all… all attendees will be entered into a prize draw to win a little hamper of goodies to share with a loved one! No purchase necessary, just turn up and you’ll get a ticket.
We’ve managed to get together a great selection of local businesses offering a wide range of gifts you may want to buy for your Valentine:
The judges scores are in and it’s time to announce the winners of the Wixams Christmas Decorations Competition 2022! As usual we ran our competition to try and select the best decorated home and to award the winners with a prize for their efforts. Things have been a little different this year, with the cost of living crisis in full swing (and getting worse) it seems there are fewer lights shining this winter, but even so the Wixams community have worked hard to make our town a magical place to live at Christmas time.
In case you’re not aware, this and all our competitions are run by volunteers who give up their time to give back to the community, and that shouldn’t go unrecognised. We’d like to express a massive thanks yet again to Welcome Co-op Wixams for donating the prize for our winners, thank you Damien and the team. The fabulous Faye took all those goodies and put them into the fun festive hampers, thank you Faye. As usual the amazing Asan battled the winter weather to take all the excellent photos for us to share with the community, he’s an absolute star! Thank you also to the judges: Barbara & Nathan from the Wixams Events Team, Richard, Cecilia & the boys, Joey, Adriana, and our new judge the lovely Deb. Finally a big thank you goes to Sheila for stepping in and helping with the prize giving at very short notice.
We don’t take this competition too seriously but when it comes to the hamper we definitely make sure to put together a selection of goodies we think our winners will appreciate. There’s around £100 worth of items altogether between the two hampers which includes a great selection of booze, drinks, snacks, biscuits and chocolates. We hope it helps make sure our winners have an extra special Christmas 🍿🍾🥨🍻
To run this competition we give the list of addresses to all the judges and then they have a few days to let us know their top 3 in order. We award 3 points for 1st, 2 points for 2nd and 1 point for 3rd, then we total up the points from all the judges and the winner is the home with the most.
This year’s winners received more than twice as many points as the second placed homes so it clearly resonated with our judges. They were very impressed by the beautiful sleigh, presents and other ornaments, as well as the real decorated tree and colour coordinated lights. Altogether it just works and it really stood out from the crowd, well done to the winners!
17 homes entered the competition this year which meant there was a big variety of ornaments, lights and other elements on display. We particularly liked the homemade Quality Street sweeties on one home. We also saw some excellent lights such as those on Homestead Way, Avocet Road and Oatlands Drive. The beautiful archway on Thistle Lane was particularly special and really took things up a notch too (they came joint 2nd). This year we noticed there were a fair number of unicorns amongst the displays, but the ultimate has to be the one on Fieldfare View which looks across majestically to his reindeer friend! 🦌🦄
Overall there were some amazing displays out there and here’s some great photos for you all to enjoy….
You can find some fantastic photos of the previous competitions on the pages below:
Wixams is a fantastic place to be for Halloween each year and, despite the miserable weather, 2022 seemed to be busier than ever. We saw our town come alive with hundreds of little reanimated skeletons, witches, ghosts and even dinosaurs out on the hunt for sweeties and enjoying the atmosphere.
As usual we ran our Halloween Decorations Competition so that we could find the ‘Spookiest House in Wixams’ and reward them for their hard work and for helping create such a wonderful experience for our community. This year 16 homes entered the competition and we could tell some people had really taken things up a notch! Our judges saw so many weird and wonderful new ideas and it was particularly interesting to see what past competition entrants had put together. In some cases they took last year’s display and went event further with it, in other cases they did something completely new. The creativity of some displays was off the charts and the variety made things really difficult for our judges. Two of them kept asking if we could just make everyone a winner a split the hamper between all the families!
A competition like this takes a lot of work and people to plan and run; given it’s all done by volunteers we want to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has made this a success.
The winning prize is a massive hamper and all the goodies were very kindly donated by Welcome Co-op Wixams, thank you to Damian and the team. All those goodies were put together in a great Halloween themed two-part hamper by the fantastic Faye. The amazing photos below were taken by Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com), he covers lots of events in Wixams and elsewhere for free and in his own time. It’s a massive undertaking and it makes all the difference to have so many great shots to share with the entrants and the wider community. Last but not least are the judges: Barbara, Cecilia & the boys, Rich & Lucy, Ferial & Mike, Paula, Sheila, Adriana, Richard and Joey. Thank you all!
As usual the prize for the winning home was a massive two-part hamper of goodies worth around £100. Both boxes were crammed with drinks, snacks, sweets and more which we’re sure our winners have got stuck into already. We make sure that around half of the budget is spent on drinks just for the adults as we know they put in so much work into their displays, sometimes planning months in advance 🍻
And the Winner is…
Three homes this year were very popular with the judges but there can only be one winner, and it was this fantastic display on Pheasant Grove! We were wowed by the sheer number of props they had created and the overall effect was something really spooky and special. Apparently it was put together on a tight budget and the props were mostly hand made from bits of old wood and bin liners. 10/10 for effort there!
There’s a big variety of houses in Wixams, particularly in size, so our judges do their best to factor this in and consider how well the displays take advantage of the space available. Our winners are lucky to have some green space in front of their home but they really took things to another level filling it with a giant spider and web, corpses, pumpkins and more. The house itself was really impressive too including silhouettes in every window. Well done and thank you for bringing something new to Halloween in Wixams 👏👏👏
We want to thank all of the participants in this year’s competition for their hard work. This year really was exceptional and we saw some particularly fantastic new ideas which deserve a mention. The house on Brambling Gardens was covered in a giant spider’s web and the nest was home to the bowl of sweeties 😵💫 The owners of one home on Brooklands Avenue seem to take great pleasure in giving visitors a fright in return for sweets, this time a giant spider would drop on anyone brave enough to try to grab some from the bowl! We saw lots of great window scenes but the stained glass windows on Tawny Avenue really stood out. We also saw some really great carved pumpkins in a variety of styles, some lit of with colourful lights, and they all looked fab.
A special mention goes to the Stranger Things themed house on Southern Cross which was absolutely stunning. Unfortunately the age range of our judges mean that they didn’t all get the references, but one judge is a big fan of the show and said the attention to detail was incredible and it captured so many different parts of the story. Well done guys, we’re sure you made a lot of people very happy 😈
Here’s some great photos from the other entrants for you to enjoy.
You can find some fantastic photos of the previous competitions on the pages below:
In the Wixams Community Group we love gardening so in March 2022 we ran a little project to give away sunflower seeds to homes all across Wixams. We started with a couple of large bags of seeds of giant yellow and red sunflowers. These were put into around 100 packs which we could give out to the community, each containing:
Approx. 10 yellow sunflower seeds
Approx. 10 red sunflower seeds
We had given a few bags out already but after a post on our Facebook group every single remaining bag was claimed in just one evening! We were overwhelmed by the response and wanted more people to take part so we reached out to Seasons garden centre in Wixams. Seasons were great and, despite their limited stocks, they gave us enough seeds so that we could put together around 50 more packs of seeds which we were able to distribute. Thank you Seasons! 👏🏻
Below is a selection of the fantastic sunflowers grown around Wixams from this project.
It’s been more than a decade since the first bricks were laid down in our lovely town and, even though Wixams is a great place to live, the journey so far has been pretty rocky. Residents have seen the plans for Wixams change a number of times and some much needed facilities removed. Below we have highlighted the key issues in Wixams and identified some cases where decisions have been made on our behalves by councillors and council officers which have sometimes gone directly against the wishes of the community.
We think the best way to protect the remaining plans for our town is to form an independent residents’ association which can work more closely with the community to push for change, and to collaborate with parish councils and local authorities where needed.
After many years of waiting the planning application for the Wixams Railway Station has now been submitted and the first trains expected in December 2024.
Good news? Yes, but only because of the actions of some very proactive Wixamites who campaigned in 2018 when the station plans were in peril. The station had been delayed due to a funding gap and after multiple attempts by Gallagher Estates (now L&Q Estates) to find a way forward, it was clear that the station couldn’t be built without the shortfall being met. After months of campaigning Mayor Dave Hodgson finally took action and committed the tax-payer funding which meant the station could go ahead.
You can find out more about the station from the council’s dedicated pages:
In March 2022 the Wixams Joint Development Control Committee (WJDCC) voted to remove a set of planned facilities across Wixams to help meet a funding shortfall for the primary school in Village 3. The proposals included the removal of the units in Willow Grove (Village 2) and Harrowden Green (Village 4), which would likely include a local shop and takeaways in each, similar to those in Lakeview (Village 1).
This decision was based on arguments made by the principle planning officer for Wixams who suggested a move to internet shopping and the impacts of the pandemic mean there wouldn’t be enough demand to fill those units, as well as the 10 planned for the town centre. Questions have raised about this rationale by residents as local shops are always in need. There has also been more demand than predicted; within 24 hours of a post in our Facebook group LSP Developments received 25 enquiries from local businesses interested in leasing one of the few town centre units being offered.
After a campaign led by the Wixams Newsletter 57 residents responded widely rejecting the removal of these key facilities. When the public objections were highlighted by Cllr Graeme Coombes to the planning officer at the meeting he simply responded with a shrug. The WJDCC voted to approve all the revisions with 5 votes in favour, 3 against and 1 abstention (full story on page 9 of Apr 2022 Wixams Newsletter).
Parents have been calling for zebra crossings in multiple key locations in Wixams for many years, including on Brooklands Avenue near to Lakeview Primary, Green Lane near to Wixams Tree Primary and Bedford Road parallel with Green Lane. Early in 2022 a young girl was hit by a car on Brooklands Avenue, sustaining minor injuries, leading to her mum submitting a petition to Bedford Borough Council for crossings in Wixams. The petition was signed by 178 residents and once presented to the council led to them assuring a crossing will be installed on Green Lane as part of the extension to Wixams Tree Primary School.
Whilst there has now been some progress, further action will likely be needed to pressure the councils to install more crossings to improve pedestrian safety (including Central Beds Council for a crossing on Meadow Road), especially for our children who are trying to get to school along our busy roads.
Bus services in Wixams are severely lacking and in the 2021 Wixams Residents Survey people asked for Sunday and late services, they also highlighted that the 44 and 81 buses often arrive at the same time.
The good news is Stagecoach announced the 81 route will be changing to the MK1 and will include services on Sundays and public holidays. The MK1 will go from Bedford bus station and via Wixams to Luton and Luton Airport bus station, and then up the M1 to Milton Keynes.
Unfortunately the councils have very little ability to influence the bus services due to privatisation and deregulation. However more work is needed to push for improved routes and discount schemes which would benefit those who rely on the buses.
In 2020 we highlighted that the creation of a logistics park in Wixams, with only one access point via The Causeway, had increased congestion and that the issue would get worse.
The road network will have to accommodate:
The extra traffic generated by Wixams’ residents who work outside of the town as there are fewer employment opportunities here.
The extra traffic generated by the workers at the warehouses who mainly don’t live in Wixams.
The HGVs servicing the warehouses.
The traffic from neighbouring villages who will use Wixams as a rat-run to avoid Houghton Conquest and Cow Bridge near the Interchange Retail Park.
Residents from nearby villages, Kempston and the south of Bedford who will use the Wixams train station to commute.
When the planning applications were submitted for the warehousing in Wixams, neither the council’s highways team nor Highways England made any comment about the ability of the roads to handle the cumulative traffic from all the warehouses. A proposal was made by Cllr Graeme Coombes for a link road to take the commercial traffic away from residents areas. Whilst this idea has a lot of support from the community it would likely be paid for by the tax payer and raises questions as to why the highways team didn’t consider the long term impacts on our roads from the outset.
Residents in Lakeview (Village 1) have struggled for more than a decade with the lack of parking spaces for themselves and visitors, particularly along Brooklands Avenue. This is because of legislation in place at the time of building which limited the number of spaces to an average of 1.5 per household to encourage people to use public transport. We met with L&Q Estates in September 2021 and they explained that they didn’t think this was appropriate for Wixams. They had highlighted this issue with Bedford Borough Council and recommended they request dispensation from this legislation, but the council refused.
There are places where additional on-street parking could be created but this would be at the expense of the tax payer. However, with house prices being so high many younger residents will likely remain living with their parents but may add an extra car to the household, so the problem will only get worse and will be more expense to resolve in the long run.
The vast majority of jobs created in Wixams are for relatively low pay and in only one industry: Logistics. Significant progress is being made in automation which means many of the lowest paid jobs will be gone in the coming years:
All the land originally allocated for new employment has now gone and the ‘expansion area’ has been used to build the B&M and planned Aldi distribution centres. No investment has been made in Wixams in creating workspaces such as offices for local businesses, or for national businesses which could employ local residents. No small commercial units have been created for businesses such as painters and decorators, plumbers etc which could be leased by local firms to help them thrive and grow, and which would lead to more job opportunities for residents in the future.
Representatives from Bedford Borough Council have said that some office units could be created in the town centre and near to the railway station, but this will not be enough to create a sustainable local economy. Our young residents looking for work will likely be forced to choose between low paid local work or having to commute by car or train.
More work is needed to pressure the councils to create more sustainable employment opportunities for our new town.
Join or Sign Up
This is just a selection of some of the issues and challenges residents in Wixams have faced over the last decade. To help resolve some of these problems and to try and prevent the loss of yet more facilities the community will need to work together to help make Wixams a town we can all enjoy for many years.
Join the Committee
We need committee members to help run this group and to work on behalf of other residents. If you’ve never been on a committee before it’s easier than it sounds and won’t take up a lot of your time. These are lots of different roles and activities you can take part in:
Attending meeting with councillors, developers and other stakeholders.
Attending parish council meeting to stay up to date with developments (predominantly Wixams and Houghton Conquest PCs).
Looking into plans and planning application to find out what’s being proposed.
Help to run a Facebook group/page or other social media channels to share news.
Write content for email newsletters.
Run the committee itself as chair, secretary or treasurer.
Please use the form below if you’re interested in joining the Wixams Residents’ Association committee:
Sign up for Updates
Enter your email address below to get news and updates from the association. This will include notifications about planning applications which may impact you.
A meeting to establish the new association will be held in the Swan Room, Lakeview Village Hall. Please come along to share your views and help set up this group.
If you’ve never heard of Yarn Bombing you’re in good company, we hadn’t either. But after a suggestion and a donation from Barratt/David Wilson Homes to set up a group in Wixams we agreed it would be a great way to bring people together to do something crafty, fun and a great way to decorate our town!
In March 2022 after a request in our Facebook group we had over 20 people volunteer to join! The group met in early April and over a 6 week period they worked together to create a wonderful show for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. They created a central display with lots of bunting, paperchains, trellises with lots of flowers and creatures, and even a little Queen with her corgi sat on a throne!! 👸🐕 They also created a separate display for the outside of the Willow Grove marketing suite on Southern Cross, with grey (platinum) and purple wool. We think it adds a touch of class and is a great way to honour the Queen’s 70 years as our monarch.
The group created 384 links for the paperchains, 185 bunting flags, 137 flowers, 11 ’70’ crown rings, 5 flower rings and 21 tree swizzlers. Impressive work!!
After the huge success of the Jubilee project the group have decided to create a display for this year’s Remembrance Day. This will include lots of crocheted or knitted poppies and the group would also like to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.
If you’d like to take part in this project please use the form at the bottom of the page to find out how you can get involved.
If you’ve never knitted or crocheted before that’s no problem, it’s easy to learn and the group has lots of people who can help you to learn at your own pace. The group is very positive and supportive of all members, and it’s a great way to meet people in the community. Any contribution is welcomed, no matter how small.
Please fill in your details below if you’d like to join the group or find out more:
A new Facebook has been created, please feel free to join to stay up to date with the group’s activities: Wixams Yarn Bombers
This Christmas may be very different for many but the fantastic Wixams community have stood strong and don’t seem to be letting things get to them! Our judges were bowled over yet again by the beautifully decorated homes in Wixams this winter and we’re sure you’ll agree that our town looks magical under the night sky. There were 20 homes entered into our competition and, as you’ll see from the photos further down this page, there were a wide variety of great decorations and styles on display.
The Wixams Community Group has a very small committee so we rely on volunteers to help us run our competitions, as well as donations for the prizes. We’d like to extend a massive thank you to Michelle and the Welcome Co-op team for their continued support and their kind donation of the hamper goodies, especially as they’ve been so busy recently with the refurbishment and rebranding! Thank you to Faye for putting it all together into the fantastic Christmassy double hamper. The second prize was donated by the Wixams Parish Council, we very much appreciate their support. And once again we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for his amazing photos which we know bring joy to people, especially those who can’t make their way around our town themselves.
Finally we’d like to thank the judges who give up their time to walk around Wixams checking every single entrant: Nathan and Barbara from the Wixams Events Team, and the other judges Margaret, Diana, John, Sheila, Saqhib, Cecilia, Adriana and Richard.
Second place this year is this lovely home on Mink Meadow in Willow Grove. The bright colours really capture the cheerfulness of the Christmas season and the variety of decorations on display show the imagination of the owners. Their prize of a £50 John Lewis voucher has now been delivered and we hope they buy themselves something nice to enjoy Christmas even more!
The winning prize for this competition was a huge two-part hamper full of goodies worth around £100. We’ve selected a ton of tasty sweet and savoury treats for the whole family to enjoy, as well as a rather large quantity of drinks for the adults 🍿🍫🍬🍪🍻🥂
And the winner is…
The winning home on Brooklands Avenue has been a firm favourite in previous years, but this time they reached new levels and they were awarded points by 8 of the 10 judges! We really loved that they included all the elements of a child’s Christmas, creating something special which we’re sure is very popular with the little residents of Wixams. They managed to cram a lot into a small space yet still produced a well planned and thoughtful display. We’ve delivered the winners their prize and we hope it brings them extra joy this Christmas. Congratulations!
Here are some photos of the other great entrants to this year’s competition for your viewing pleasure. There are so many lovely decorations all across Wixams this year, not just of those who entered the competition, so we hope you’ll get a chance to have a walk around and appreciate the sparkling lights, colourful displays, cute models and window scenes 🎅🏻
Yet again Wixams was absolutely thriving on Halloween, the streets were packed with families and children all dressed up for trick-or-treating and on the hunt for sweeties. The community put on an amazing display for all to enjoy too, with decorations ranging from some lovely carved pumpkins by the front door, all the way up to some impressive and creative displays of fun and spookiness!
36 homes entered into our competition this year and our entrants were clearly very competitive which gave our judges a tough time choosing the winner. We’d like to extend our thanks to everyone who took the time to make Wixams a special place to be this Halloween.
We’re very lucky to be able to work with some wonderful people who come forward time and time again to help us out with our competitions. Firstly a massive thank you to Michelle and the team at Budgens for supplying all the goodies for the prize hamper. This was all put together by the fabulous Faye into a super two-part Halloween themed hamper. We had a second prize this year which was kindly donated by the Wixams Parish Council. Yet again a huge thank you goes to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for his excellent photos taken of our entrants, a tough job given how spread out they were across Wixams! And finally thank you to Nathan and Barbara from the Wixams Events Team and the rest of the judges: Saqhib, Richard, Lucy, Cecilia and Sam 👏
In second place was this very spooky house on Silverstream which was adorned with all sorts of props, including a coffin for you to open if you dared (not pictured) and lots of worrying noises coming from inside of people trying to get out! 😮 Congratulations go to them and they have now been awarded their prize of a £50 gift card for John Lewis 🛍
The Top Prize
The winners this year took home a trophy celebrating their home being the ‘Spookiest House in Wixams 2021’ and of course the hampers full of booze, snacks and goodies worth £100.
There were plenty of great homes to choose from but our judges were very impressed by this home on Corncroft Leys in village 4 which they felt perfectly captured the spirit of Halloween. They noted the exceptional effort that had gone into the decorations, many of them home made, as well as how engaged visitors were with the display and characters. One judge said they felt like they were walking into a movie about Halloween! We’ve now dropped off their prize and we hope they’ve already got stuck into the lovely treats. Well done and congratulations 🍻
Commiserations to our other contenders this year, there really were some amazing displays out there which wowed the judges and trick-or-treaters alike! Here are some great photos from some of the other entrants.
Despite such a turbulent year the Wixams community has excelled itself once again and together have created a magical place filled with lights, colours and decorations for everyone to enjoy. We’ve seen lots of families taking walks around our town enjoying the displays and getting into the festive mood. Thank you to everyone who decorated their homes and helped to make Wixams a special place to live.
We’d like to express our gratitude to a lot of people for their help in bringing this competition to the Wixams community. Firstly thank you to Michelle and the Budgens team for supplying all the items for the prize, and to Amanda for putting it all together into two huge Christmas themed hampers. Yet again a massive thank you goes to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for his amazing photos from all across Wixams, he gave up a lot of his time capturing photos for the competition but also to share with the community. Thanks also to Jeremie for the fab photos he shared in the Wixams Christmas Lights Facebook group. And finally thank you to our judges, Nathan & Barbara from the Wixams Events Team, Margaret, Saqhib, Paula, Cecilia and Richard.
This year’s winners were awarded a two-part hamper filled with drinks (mostly booze!), chocolates, biscuits, crisps, snacks and more 🍾
With so many beautifully decorated houses on display our judges had a lot of choice and variety this year, but there was one that stood out and was the clear winner. This home has been very popular with the little ones who could be regularly seen looking through the fence at the amazing display. They managed to fit a lot of detail into their garden including an ice-rink for the dolls, a gingerbread house, lights, glass balloons and more! The winners have now received their prize and we hope it helps to make their Christmas even more special.
Christmas in Wixams
Here is just a selection of some of the other wonderful displays in Wixams this year, including some of our other finalists. You can find lots more photos taken by Asan on his website, and by other members of the community in the Wixams Christmas Lights Facebook group.
The Wixams community excelled itself again for Halloween in 2020 and put on a fantastic display for all to enjoy. The Trick-or-Treaters were out in smaller groups than normal and residents found some creative ways to share sweeties with the kids in a safe way, one home even had them hanging from a string! Thank you to everyone for bringing some fun and joy to Wixams during such a difficult time.
Yet again we’d like to send Michelle and the team at Budgens a massive thank you for supplying all the goodies for the prize hamper. Thank you to Amanda who did a great job putting it all together into a fantastic Halloween theme with lots of glittery spiders and cobwebs. A huge thank you goes to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) who rushed around all evening taking amazing photos of as many homes as possible before people started taking their decorations down. And finally thank you to the Wixams Events Team and the rest of the judges for helping us find all the fantastic finalists and making sure the competition went smoothly. Thank you Nathan, Cecilia, Barbara, Graeme, Saqhib, Paula and Richard 🎃
The winners are now the proud owners of a trophy for having the ‘Spookiest House in Wixams 2020’ as well as a bumper two part hamper full of goodies worth £100.
This year the judges had plenty of great homes to choose from but the clear winners this year were this fabulous home on Green Lane. They really went the extra mile to celebrate Halloween and the whole family were even dressed up as The Addams Family! Well done to them and we hope they enjoy their prize 🍾
The judges has a lot of homes to choose from this year so we wanted to share some photos of some of the other finalists. Thank you all for your wonderful displays.