Brilliant light display in memory of late wife brightens up Christmas

Derek Scales who has spent the past five weeks putting up thousands of Christmas lights to raise mon

Derek Scales who has spent the past five weeks putting up thousands of Christmas lights to raise money for Norfolk Hospice. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

It takes five weeks to put up, but it is all worth it to light up people’s Christmas and help raise money in memory of his late wife.

72-year-old Derek Scales from Stanhoe has brightened up his cul-de-sac in the village for the past 15 years.

Originally doing it to brighten up the street, a friend of his suggested that he could ask for donations for a cause of his choice.

Derek Scales's Christmas lights that he has spent five weeks putting up to raise money for Norfolk H

Derek Scales's Christmas lights that he has spent five weeks putting up to raise money for Norfolk Hospice. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

For the next four years, he collected money for the village’s church, before his wife was diagnosed with cancer.

He then started to donate to Macmillan Cancer Research and the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House. This hospice would go on to care for her from September 2019, until she passed away in November of the same year.


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“She would have been so proud of me,” Mr Scales said.

“She used to always help me put the lights up, was always there to help me untangle the lights.”

Derek Scales's Christmas lights that he has spent five weeks putting up to raise money for Norfolk H

Derek Scales's Christmas lights that he has spent five weeks putting up to raise money for Norfolk Hospice. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

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The display which features thousands of lights across hedges, trees, and the bungalow itself also feature a giant Father Christmas.

Despite being retired, he described the display as a ‘full-time job’

“It takes nearly a full day to run the extension lead out and plug everything in and I am always running repairs,” he said.

“Christmas lights aren't the most reliable thing, it is a full-time job checking them all the time and running replacements if they need it.”

Derek Scales who has spent the past five weeks putting up thousands of Christmas lights to raise mon

Derek Scales who has spent the past five weeks putting up thousands of Christmas lights to raise money for Norfolk Hospice. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

He said nights are filled with the sound of people pulling up at the house to see his work.

Derek Scales's Christmas lights that he has spent five weeks putting up to raise money for Norfolk H

Derek Scales's Christmas lights that he has spent five weeks putting up to raise money for Norfolk Hospice. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

“You get the regular people coming to see you, you can hear the cars going up and down the road and doors shutting for people putting the money in the box,” he added.

“I am very proud of the number of people that come and look.

“You can hear the 'oohs' and 'aahs' like they are watching the fireworks and it is so nice to see.”

He is hoping to have his best date to year and top last year’ total of £620. We are urging people to create festive displays outside their houses as part of our 'Let's Brighten Up Christmas' campaign.
 

Derek Scales's Christmas lights that he has spent five weeks putting up to raise money for Norfolk H

Derek Scales's Christmas lights that he has spent five weeks putting up to raise money for Norfolk Hospice. Picture: DANIELLE BOODEN - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


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