A FUNDRAISING husband has helped to light up the Whyke Estate this Christmas.
Wayne Thair, of Exton Road, decorates his house and garden every year, raising money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
It is now in its seventh year and keeps getting bigger.
“It was really good,” he said of this year’s big switch-on on December 2.
“There were a lot of people outside and we had some people from Abbas Combe Nursing Home brought down in wheelchairs to watch.”
There were a number of children there to see the lights switched on and Wayne’s friend and lighting partner Mark Duncton dressed up as Father Christmas, who appeared out of the house to surprise the children.
“We got a couple of children we knew to start chanting – all the kids started chanting Santa and my friends came out.”
Santa then handed out carol sheets to the 70 or so people who had turned up to see the lights switched on by the Rev Stuart Cradduck, of St George’s Church, in Cleveland Road.
Funds were raised by selling mince pies, sausage rolls and mulled wine.
This was the first year Wayne had included a nativity scene as part of the Christmas lights display – something that has helped to catch the imagination of passers-by, with someone even donating a model sheep for him to use in the display.
There is a collection box outside for St Wilfrid’s – last year he raised around £300 for the hospice.
“I have had a lot of friends die from cancer,” he said. “Everybody knows somebody who’s died from cancer.
“I always do it for St Wilfrid’s now. They’re always very nice people down there.”
Plans are already afoot for next year, with Wayne planning to push the boat out even more as it will coincide with his wife’s 40th birthday.
He has already bought some new light and decorations for next year, which he is saving.
As well as the nativity and the lights, there will also be a Santa’s grotto on Monday, December 23.
If any parents want Father Christmas to hand over presents to their children, they can leave the gifts at Wayne’s home in Exton Road before 6pm on Sunday, December 22, and return on the Monday with their children to collect them from Santa.
Wayne also thanked his friend Mark, who as well as donning a Santa costume helped him put up the lights during the course of the past six weeks.
He also thanked the Rev Cradduck for leading a carol service and taking part in the switch-on.
The reverend turned on the lights, which Wayne said he was ‘really chuffed’ to do.