Community in shock as organiser of charity Christmas lights passes away

Photo of Terry James.

Hundreds of people from across the Stokes and further afield have expressed shock and sadness at the news that Terry James, joint host of the famous Watch Elm Close charity Christmas lights, has died.

Together with partner Mike Checkley, Terry had helped raise thousands of pounds for charities, most recently St Peter’s Hospice, through collections made at their extravagant Christmas lights displays.

Announcing Terry’s passing on the Watch Elm Close Christmas Lights page on Facebook, Mike wrote:

“It is with sadness and joy that I share with you that my loving partner of 42 years died at 7pm on Tuesday 12th March 2019 very peacefully at home in his own bed where he wanted to be. He is now at peace. We will no longer be doing the Christmas lights but there is a new shining star in the sky. Thank you for your support for last year – we still can’t believe we raised £11,200. God bless you all.”

Well-wishers have left hundreds of comments of sympathy and support on the post, many of which mention the warm welcome they received when visiting the lights last year.

An online charity donation page has been set up in memory of Terry, collecting once again for St Peter’s Hospice. The address is

Photo of Mike Checkley (left) and Terry James standing at the gate to their house in Watch Elm Close.

Photo: Terry (right) with partner Mike Checkley at the launch event in December 2018.

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 19). 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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