Byron Road Christmas lights return for NHS boost
HUNDREDS of people braved the cold on Sunday to watch a famous Barton street illuminated with more than 80,000 Christmas lights.
Byron Road, named Britain’s most festive street by Daily Mail readers in 2016, will be lit up every evening between 4.30pm and around 9pm until 1st January to raise money for the NHS.
For organiser Ged Hollyoake, the construction of an array of twinkling lights, nativity scenes and life-sized festive creatures, spanning a dozen houses, is a labour of love that begins in late September.
Ged said: “Last year I just did a very small display of my house because of the Covid situation, so it is wonderful to be back this year with a full display.
"There are lots of new decorations which I have collected since the last display so there is always something new to see.
“A friend of mine who usually helps out is unwell this year so I have done virtually all the work myself. I love doing it though and I’m always delighted by the wonderful amount raised for charity.”
In previous years the official switch-on celebration had become a huge event in itself, attracting celebrities like Jimmy Tarbuck, Fred Dinenage and Harry Redknapp. However, increasing insurance costs led Ged to scale back the launch.
He said: “It had become too big and too much. We had around 500-600 people at this year’s switch-on and we just had musical entertainment and dancing.
"I really enjoyed myself – it was perfect. My grandson Dylan helped me with the switch-on. He was clapping along as the crowd counted down.”
Despite the smaller-scale event, Ged’s display has continue to attract national attention with a TV crew from BBC1's the One Show filming throughout the day ahead of a broadcast this evening (Friday).
In the last two decades the display has raised £85,700 for good causes, with this year’s proceeds set to go to the NHS.