Halloween in Romsey Town | Mill Road 2020


Halloween in Romsey Town

Cambridge, UK

Story by Naomi Aro

Johann Sebastian Bach (disputed), performed by Ashtar Moïra, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Covid-19's First Halloween

Can we go trick or treating?

As many wondered if Halloween was cancelled this year like other events and activites of 2020, fresh questions were arising around if Halloween was "Covid-safe". This year in the UK, it depended upon which region you were living in and for England in particularly, which tier level your local region was assigned to.

At the time of Halloween 2020 Cambridge is in the tier one (medium alert) category for England.[ 1 ]

What do those restrictions include you might wonder?

  • You can mix socially in a group of up to six people from multiple households. This includes children and applies indoors and outdoors, including private homes.
  • Socialising in larger groups is against the law, with fines up to £6,400.

"If you're doing something that increases your contacts with other people then you are automatically increasing their risk and your risk,"

- Dr Chris Smith, a virologist at the University of Cambridge. [ 2 ]

A carved pumpkin that is lit at night. The design isn't traditional, but features spokes radiating out of a centre circle and ending with a circular top of varying lengths. It looks a little alien in nature.
Same household activites like pumpkin carving dominated the streets of Mill Road

With these restrictions in mind, there were signs of many of the "safer" activites this Halloween in Cambridge, including various pumpkin carvings done by members of the same households or socially-distanced walks around the neighbourhood to appreciate the atmosphere of the evening.

A basket of prepackaged bags of treats for trick-or-treaters is left outside in an accessible area for the children of the neighbourhood.
A distanced basket of treats asking the trick-or-treater to please take one

The solution for this year's Halloween in the time of covid-19 appeared to be houses placing baskets of packaged candies outside, free for the taking of any trick-or-treaters that evening.

[ 1 ] - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54373904

[ 2 ] - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54180119

Let's take a walk around Mill Road

A socially-distanced walk that is

audio credits: 1 woman departs (reprocessed) - © 2020 BBC

A spider web of colourful string
Halloween research

Pumpkins by Day

The local talent of Romsey

Impressive pumpkin carvings in the Mill Road and Romsey neighbourhood

Snack bar - busy atmosphere, mainly women and children - 1982 - © 2020 BBC

So many households had carved pumpkins and put them outside. Wandering around to view them was a nice break from the smear of what is now day to day life in a global pandemic.

Mill Road Cemetery

Mill Road Cemetery was created and consecrated in 1848 to provide more burial space for the city centre parishes. It is now full. It is still consecrated and owned by the parishes, and maintained as a churchyard and open space by Cambridge City Council. It is an English Heritage Grade II listed site, with several listed monuments and war graves. There are public art installations by Gordon Young, on the theme of birds and birdsong. It is always open.

- Quote from http://millroadcemetery.org.uk/

Map of the plots in Mill Road Cemetery

Another spooky activity that is relatively "covid-safe" is taking a walk around Mill Road Cemetery with family or friends. You can come to enjoy the green space, discover some interesting monuments including wargraves from WWI,  or view the art installations.

Doors of Mill Road

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Various doors around Mill Road and Romsey decorated for Halloween.
Doors welcome trick-or-treaters, but at a distance.

Knocking with doors opening and closing. (Specially created effect) - © 2020 BBC

The doors looks enticing with hints to candy left outside. A relatively calm night endurs as the trick-or-treaters treat in silence.

Two pumpkins are placed on either side of the door frame. One is carved as a cat, the other has the words Hocus Pocus and stars.
An inviting doorstop
Spooky planet
A shocked witness
Mischievous trio
Among Us

Pumpkins by Night

A spooky evening

A collage of lit pumpkins in the evening of Halloween. Various faces and designs are carved throughout the neighbourhood.
Spooky pumpkins bring light to the night
Loyalty Freak Music, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thank-you everyone for Halloween 2020

A sign in a window of one of the houses which says Come Back for Treats in 2021!
A hopeful sign for a better 2021

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