End of the Christmas Lights – 9 January 2012


Scroll down or click here for photographs of
our amazing Christmas decorations.

Over the course of the day, Dad’s been removing the Christmas Lights: taking down the various boards, stripping the blue tissue paper off the walls, and tearing out now-redundant wires.

TOOLS FOR THE JOB: All that remains of the Christmas Lights decorations are these tools on the control tower. (IMG_1800)

All that remains of the Lights are a few scars on the wallpaper, but more obviously the large control tower. That’s because Dad’s hoping to rebuild it in time for next Christmas’s display, using more modern technology that can be more easily replaced – unlike the vintage telephone exchange components that run the current system.


I decided against producing a video for family archive purposes of the show, knowing this can take many hours. That said, I’ll need to do one next Christmas, as the 2009 video (the only motion-picture record we have) has a very noisy SD picture, having been filmed on my old tape camera.

However, it was essential to get some good-quality photographs before the demolition began, and the best of these follow (rollover for captions).


The Christmas Tree

Standing proudly in our living room, our Christmas tree has served us well as the centrepiece of our celebrations, with a knitted nativity scene reminding us of the true meaning of the Christian festival.

TRUE MEANING: A knitted nativity scene stood at the base of the Christmas tree. (IMG_1429)

OH CHRISTMAS TREE: We decorated our tree in a simple gold and silver colour-scheme. (IMG_1419)

Santa’s Grotto

Every year, as a spin-off from the Lights, I decorate my rather small bedroom as a suitably cosy Santa’s Grotto, where a video-message from Father Christmas plays out on multiple video screens around the illuminations.

SANTA'S GROTTO: My room always has its own decorations. (IMG_1437)

CATCH A FALLING SNOWFLAKE: A video-message from Father Christmas plays on the screens in my room. (IMG_1468)

The Christmas Lights

The pinnacle, of course, of all our decorations are the Lights on the landing – Dad’s annual Christmas Illuminations show.

ENTER A DIFFERENT WORLD: This sign has greeted Christmas Lights spectators for years, as they make their way up the staircase. (IMG_1473)

SANTA DOWN THE CHIMNEY: This year's show began with Father Christmas's sleigh moving across the 'sky', and then him dropping down a house's chimney. (IMG_1498)

TWINKLING LIGHTS: Following the first poem, the sleigh moves to the side of the wall and the other lights come on. (IMG_1509)

NO ROOM AT THE INN: Joseph and Mary approach the inn. (IMG_1514)

A SHEPHERD OUT ON THE HILLS: Before making his way down the ramp, the shepherd stands by a tissue-paper fire. (IMG_1521)

WISE MEN FROM THE EAST: The three magi also feature in Dad's retelling of the Christmas story. (IMG_1529)

A BRIGHT STAR IN THE SKY: This year, the star was static, but in other builds of the nativity, it's moved. (IMG_1530)

ALL TOGETHER NOW: The wise men, Joseph, Mary, and the shepherd at the end of the nativity section. (IMG_1537)

SANTA ON WHEELS: Father Christmas flies down a ramp on a skateboard, before being returned to the top by a lift. (IMG_1597)

CROWNING GLORY: Three crowns, each illuminated with fairy lights, hang on the wall. (IMG_1543)

ORIENT EXPRESS: A toytrain runs on a track mounted at 90 degrees to the back wall. (IMG_1656)

BRIGHT SPARK: Dad looks on at the last performance of his Lights show this year. (IMG_1680)

STAR IN THE SKY: A silver-coloured star spins above spectators' heads. (IMG_1705)

LAST NIGHT OF THE LIGHTS: Traditionally, the last performance is the one that is photographed, as by then all minor faults have been rectified. (IMG_1694)

Click here to see more photos of the 2011 Lights.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.

1 Response

  1. philhbray says:

    Amazing stuff.

    One year I’ll have to pay a site visit and see them in action!