Neighbours join forces to help charity

SANTAS sledging, parachuting, swinging and see-sawing burst into light with countless other Christmas decorations outside the homes of two North Walsham neighbours this week.

SANTAS sledging, parachuting, swinging and see-sawing burst into light with countless other Christmas decorations outside the homes of two North Walsham neighbours this week.

The Parsons and Scarffs, at 43 and 41 Bluebell Road, have been transforming the fronts of their homes and gardens into illuminated wonderlands for the past seven Christmases.

And this year they hope to raise cash for Great Ormond Street Hospital with collecting boxes for donations from admiring spectators.

The tradition began when Ron and Jill Parsons moved to the town from Essex, where they had been well known for their Christmas lights.


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Over the years Mr Parsons has used the decorations to raise cash for North Walsham in Bloom, of which he is a past chairman, and for a breast cancer charity.

His son Andrew, 23, chose this year's cause because his sister Anne, now 20, was treated at Great Ormond Street when she went through a phase of having fits as a little girl. Andrew has already raised £600 in Great Yarmouth for the hospital, by dressing as a drag queen. He has taken over the job of putting up the decorations on the front of the house from his dad, who goes shopping in the post-Christmas sales to snap up bargains for their growing collection of decorations.

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Mr Parsons senior has bought so many that they no longer fit in the loft and have to be housed after Christmas in a purpose- bought shed.

The theme is carried on indoors with displays galore - the family lights entirely by some 1,000 fairy lights over the Christmas period.

He has lost count of the number of outdoor lights on display this year but says there are 480 alone in one set of rope lights strung around the garden. “They're all low voltage so they don't cost much to run,” he added.

Other features include a garden Nativity scene and an American-style loco with Father Christmas at the controls and a snowplough on the front, pulling a coal truck filled with presents.

“I used to do it when my kids were little to see the pleasure it gave them and we just carried on. It gives kids of 30 and 40 pleasure too!” said Mr Parsons.

“We get cars stopping outside and people looking over our fence. Last year a woman from Suffolk stopped in her car and said she liked touring to see good displays and had come to see ours.”

Monday's switch-on took place in pouring rain but the lights will go on at dark each day until Twelfth Night, and will remain on throughout Christmas Eve.

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