A festive house in Harrogate which is lit up with more than 16,000 bulbs has become a unique Christmas attraction.
Fred and Margaret Boreham’s semi-detached on St Andrew’s Avenue is covered in festive lights, from a Santa’s Grotto in the garden shed to a special Christmas train.
Over the years it’s become known as ‘Christmas House’ and is now so popular that families from across Yorkshire are coming to Harrogate to see it’s festive displays.
“I’ve got to stop buying more lights, the electrician has told me off,” said grandfather Fred, 70. “I keep blowing the fuses! It started with just a few, but it kept getting bigger.”
The couple, who admit they do love Christmas, started decorating the house 15 years ago in a competition with their son. But when he moved, they inherited his collection and it has kept on growing.
“It takes five weeks to get them up, and that’s with four helpers!” said Margaret, 72.
The couple held a switch on event last Saturday night, attended by hundreds of people. Some came from Leeds and further afield, having heard of the event, and the couple say its popularity has just grown.
“People are always asking us when the lights are going on, even in summer,”said Margaret. “I’ve had people stop me on the bus before. One lady even asked if the council helps with the electricity bill! We just pay it. It’s for charity and it’s worth it.”
The couple raise hundreds every year, even paying for the postage to ensure that every penny given goes to charity.
And, with the help of their large family including three sons, a daughter, and five grandchildren, they now create parcels of ‘reindeer dust’ to leave out as gifts for children.
And around 20 people stopped at the house in a 20 minute period on Tuesday, mainly families on their way home from the school run.
“The lights are awesome, they make my eyes pop,” said five-year-old Augustus Joksas, from Willow Tree Primary, while his friend Leon Baldini, four, said: “They make me so happy!”
Geraldine Townend, of Birstwith Road, with daughter Orla, said: “Every year it gets more and more exciting when you see them setting it all up.”
And Jennifer Rhodes, from Leyland Crescent, said: “It’s amazing - it definitely brightens up the street. They’ve really gone to town this year!”
Her children Sophie and Ava added: “It’s the bestest thing we’ve ever seen.”
While Kristi Pickup, who lives across the road, brought daughters Jasmine, five and Willow, three, both from Willow Tree Primary School.
“It’s very festive,” she said. “The kids absolutely love it. We’ve been watching them go up for weeks, just waiting for them to be lit. It’s very special.”