Britain’s Most Festive Home?
By |Published On: 10th December 2015|

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Britain’s Most Festive Home?

By |Published On: 10th December 2015|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

It could be in any town or city around the UK, but this Christmas lights switch-on is held at a family home in Bristol.

Hundreds of people gathered to watch as more than 50,000 lights illuminated an end-of-terrace house in the suburb of Brentry.

Lee and Paul Brailsford have been decorating their mother Rosemary’s home since 1994, raising thousands of pounds for charity along the way. They have donated more than £30,000 to The Grand Appeal over the years, the charity for Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

The £10,000 display takes six weeks to put up and three days to take down. It features a huge 70 light-up figures, including Santas and snowmen.

The lights are turned on for six hours a day for 31 days over the festive season.

Visitors may not notice the 200,000 metres of cabling, but are sure to spot the largest attraction – a rare life-sized nativity set from the USA.

Lee explains how it began: “We started decorating the house more than 20 years ago and each year it’s got bigger and bigger.

“We wanted to raise money for The Grand Appeal as Paul and I both have young children and we realised how lucky we are to have such a fantastic hospital right on our doorstep if ever we needed it.

“We raised more than £8,000 last year alone and would love to do even better this Christmas.”

He continues: “The switch-on is a lot of work, but it’s also really exciting. All our friends and family come along to help and the whole community turns out to see the lights go on.

“The reaction when we press the button for the first time makes it all worthwhile.

“We are really proud that it has become such an important part of people’s Christmases, as well as having raised so much money for such a brilliant cause.”1

The family’s first decoration was a small light-up Christmas tree, but their collection now includes 15 Santas, ten reindeer and ten snowmen.

Additionally, there are 30 sets of rope lights, ten sets of twinkling icicles, 50 rope-light shapes, trains, elves, soldiers and the nativity set on a purpose-built stage.

Most of the lights are supplied by local businesses, with the pair stocking up in the January sales every year.

Last year, the display raised £8,100 for The Grand Appeal – its most successful year so far.

This year, after Bristol was named as the European Green Capital, the brothers began converting all of the 50,000 bulbs to LEDs.

The display costs around £600 to run, and 19 local firms have sponsored this year’s spectacle to help cover costs and provide equipment for the switch-on.

Director of The Grand Appeal, Nicola Masters, says: “The Brailsford family has been supporting The Grand Appeal with their amazing lights display for many years and we’re so grateful for their incredible support.

“The switch-on has become something people from all over the region really look forward to and the event that really gets people into the Christmas spirit.

“As well as bringing so much Christmas spirit to the community, the money raised has helped our charity to support countless sick children at Bristol Children’s Hospital and their families.

“Every penny raised will help Bristol Children’s Hospital to continue to provide them with the very best care and make their Christmas that little bit brighter.”1 


About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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