The owners of a Bradley Stoke house which has built up a reputation for staging extravagant Christmas lights displays are claiming to have created the “biggest and best display the town has ever seen” for 2018.
Terry James and Mike Checkley have again transformed their home in Watch Elm Close into a Christmas wonderland to raise money for St Peter’s Hospice. This year’s display has over 30,000 lights and is now one of the biggest displays in the whole of Bristol and South Gloucestershire. New additions for 2018 include a herd of 12 reindeer, a new Merry Christmas silhouette, a new penguin silhouette and two new Santa silhouettes. In addition, the display for 2018 will include a large ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ silhouette and a ‘Santa Please Stop Here’ silhouette, together with an additional 4,000 bulbs within string and icicle lights.
Mike said: “We decided to raise money again for St Peter’s Hospice as they are a charity very close to our hearts. Most people know that they are a Bristol charity caring for adults with life-limiting illnesses both in the Hospice and at home, but they also support families and friends and teach other healthcare professionals about how to care for people at the end of their lives”. He added that “All of St Peter’s care is provided free of charge, but it costs around £20,000 a day to provide that care. In addition, St Peter’s ‘Room to Care’ Appeal is aimed at developing their new Inpatient Unit to meet the complex needs of patients in the 21st century”.
Terry and Mike, with the invaluable help of their window cleaner Kris, spend nearly four weeks putting the display together. “It’s a big task,” said Terry, “but, despite its size, we still aim to stay true to the theme of ‘A Classic Christmas’.”
“People come from across Bristol and South Gloucestershire to see the display and last year we also had people from Devon, Somerset and The Midlands visiting. The oldest person visiting last year was a very proud 97-year-old grandmother!”.
Last year, the couple set themselves a target of raising £2,000, but this was smashed with £3,022 being the final total. For 2018, Terry and Mike have decided to set themselves an ambitious goal of £4,000. To help achieve this, several local businesses have been approached to make a donation of £50, and the names of those business who have donated can be seen on a banner displayed on the driveway.
There will be collecting buckets out every night for donations from visitors who come to see the lights and donations can also be made online via a My Donate page: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/watchelmchristmaslights
• Watch Elm Close is off Baileys Court Road in Bradley Stoke – postcode BS32 8AN [map]. The lights will be on every night from 5pm to 9pm, from 1st December 2018 to 1st January 2019.
• Facebook page: Watch Elm Close Christmas Lights – Bradley Stoke
Above: Mike Checkley (left) and Terry James, hosts of the Watch Elm Close charity Christmas lights display.
This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 8 & 9). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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