Christmas

If you have any photographs or extra information for any of the village Christmas events, please get in touch via the contact page – we have lots of gaps that we would like to fill!


Christmas in the 1920s & 1930s:


Carol Singing:

W0413 Carol Singing since the 1920s
W0413 Carol Singing since the 1920s
Carol Singing thank you 2007
Carol Singing 2012
Carol Singing 2016


Church Nativity – Christmas 1997:


The Star Who Couldn’t Twinkle – Christmas 1998

The Star Who Couldn't Twinkle - script 1998
The Star Who Couldn’t
Twinkle – script 1998

A slightly different Nativity in 1998 found Mary on a horse, a real flock of sheep and a real baby Jesus – brilliant fun and a whole village event.


Nativity Tableau – Christmas 1999


Nativity Tableau – Christmas 2000


Nativity Pageant & Christmas Fair 2001

Nativity Pageant & Christmas Fair 2001
Nativity Pageant Script
Nativity Pageant & Christmas Fair 2001
Nativity Pageant advert

2001 was the first year of the Hickling Nativity Pageant; the script was borrowed from the Cranmer Group of Parishes where it had been performed in Orston every other year since at least the mid-1960s and was organised until 1980 by the Rev’d Geoffrey Blackmore (alternating with a 9 Carols and Lessons Service).

The pageant is different to the conventional nativity play or tableau; most of the actors are adults and the Christmas story is told through a procession along the village; the script is based on bible texts and carols and real animals are used.

For the first pageant the weather was bitterly cold and, once the sun had gone down, densely foggy – very atmospheric!


Nativity Pageant 2002

Nativity Pageant 2002
Nativity Pageant script

(see also 2001, above.)

Nativity Pageant 2002
Nativity Pageant programme
Nativity Tableau - Church 2002
Nativity Tableau – Church 2002

Nativity Pageants 2003-2006

The last Nativity Pageant in the traditional processional form was in 2006; the locations changed a little each year including a move from the south of the village to the north around the Wharf and the Plough.

Nativity Pageant – original script
Nativity Pageant – original script
Nativity Pageant programme 2004
Nativity Pageant advert 2006
Nativity Pageant advert 2003
Nativity Pageant advert 2005
Nativity Pageant programme 2006
Nativity Pageant programme 2003
Nativity Pageant programme 2005
Nativity Pageant Script 2006
Nativity Pageant advert 2004
Nativity Pageant thank you 2005
Nativity Pageant thank you & next year 2006

(unfortunately no photographs from these years)


On Angel Wings – Christmas 2007

Michael Morpurgo website link
Michael Morpurgo website link
On Angel Wings 2007
On Angel Wings 2007
On Angel Wings 2007
Carol Singing 2007
On Angel Wings 2007
Nativity change of plans notice 2007

The Beautiful Game – Christmas 2008

The Beautiful Game 2008
The Beautiful Game 2008 – script
The Beautiful Game 2008
The Beautiful Game 2008 – programme
The Beautiful Game 2008
The Beautiful Game 2008 – advert

The Grumpy Innkeeper – Christmas 2009

The Grumpy Innkeeper is a wonderful story which we have used both before and after 2009; either as part of a simple tableau or a longer play. This time it was an incredibly cold weekend with flurries of snow; the daylight photographs are from Saturday’s rehearsal and the night-time ones from the play/service on Sunday evening.

The Grumpy Innkeeper 2009
The Grumpy Innkeeper 2009 – script
The Grumpy Innkeeper 2009
The Grumpy Innkeeper 2009 – advert
The Grumpy Innkeeper 2009
The Grumpy Innkeeper 2009 – carol sheet
The Grumpy Innkeeper 2009
The Grumpy Innkeeper 2009 – thank you

Christmas 2011 – tableau.


The Bethlehem Fox – Christmas 2012


Carol Singing 2012
Bethlehem Fox – advert
Bethlehem Fox – cast
Bethlehem Fox – script

link to order this book

The Grumpy Innkeeper – Christmas 2013

Grumpy Innkeeper - link to book
Grumpy Innkeeper – link to book
Grumpy Innkeeper - 2013
Grumpy Innkeeper – script

The Best Christmas Present in the World – Christmas 2014

Based on the wonderful children’s book by Michael Morpurgo, ‘The Best Christmas Present in the World’ tells the story of a young soldier’s experience of the Christmas Truce on the frontline during WWI and his young widow as she grows old and their story is rediscovered.

Hickling children first told this story in 2008 titled, ‘The Beautiful Game’; we had another go at it in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the start of WWI. This time, actors included both adults and children as well as football and Christmas cake (with the best marzipan) and it was performed over two evenings just before Christmas. This is the first of the Christmas Plays to have included the Hickling community choir to wonderful effect. We were also pleased to welcome The Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke MP for Rushcliffe and his wife Gillian to the first performance.

The silhouetted images of two boy soldiers and the voices of these two young boys singing ‘Goodbyee’ into the silence and the darkness will stay with everyone who heard it.

Best Christmas Present in the World 2014
Best Christmas Present in the World 2014
Best Christmas Present in the World 2014
Best Christmas Present in the World 2014
Best Christmas Present in the World 2014
Best Christmas Present in the World 2014

In 2018, to commemorate the centenary of the end of WWI, this play was staged once again – symbolically, the young people, having grown up by another four years, played the adult parts themselves.

Best Christmas Present - link to book
Best Christmas Present – link to book
Best Christmas Present - link to book
Best Christmas Present – advert
Best Christmas Present - link to book
Best Christmas Present – programme
Best Christmas Present - link to book
Best Christmas Present – script

Hello Mouse! The Story of a Silent Night (Christmas 2016)

During rehearsals for The Best Christmas Present in 2014, the carol Silent Night began to work its way into all of our minds. With the half-memory of a story from childhood and the promptings of the younger cast members an original play was written which explained the original writing of Silent Night with the help of the Church mice and a statue of the Madonna.

Hello Mouse – advert
Hello Mouse – programme
Hello Mouse 2016
Snowflake instructions
Hello Mouse – script
Christmas at the Vicarage & the Silent Night Story
Carol Singing 2016

Nativity Tableau – Christmas 2017

Nativity Tableau 2017
Nativity Tableau 2017
Nativity Tableau 2017
Nativity Tableau 2017
Nativity Tableau 2017
Nativity Tableau 2017 – advert

The Best Christmas Present in the World – Christmas 2018

(see 2014, above) To commemorate 100 years since the end of WWI, The Best Christmas Present in the World was staged again. This time, the adult parts were played by the children from the original production who, symbolically, had grown up between these two anniversaries.

The 2018 commemorations also came to a head with Hickling’s involvement in the national There But Not There project and the TBNT silhouettes were present in the audience during the play.

Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present - link to book
Best Christmas Present – link to book
Nativity Tableau 2017
Best Christmas Present – advert
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present – programme
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present – script
Christmas at the Vicarage including Silent Night
Best Christmas Present 2018
Best Christmas Present 2018

Farms for City Children.

Michael Morpurgo’s remarkable children’s books have formed a basis for several of the village Christmas plays and we are incredibly grateful for this. In return, we have always donated a share of the collections taken at these performances to his charity, Farms for City Children. As a community we are extraordinarily fortunate to live in a rural village and this is an opportunity to share this privilege with children who might never otherwise experience it.