Crowds to flock to Coventry home for couple's huge festive light display

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Crowds to flock to Coventry home for couple's huge festive light display

Postby dutchman » Thu Dec 01, 2022 3:19 pm

The charitable couple have spent weeks preparing for the switch-on at their home in Coundon

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A kind-hearted Coventry couple will be lighting up the night in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for charity. Paul Burbidge-Grant, 40, and husband Richard, 38, have drawn huge crowds to their home in Coundon for many years.

After weeks of climbing ladders, plugging in bulbs and checking switches, the couple will soon be unveiling their huge display on Barkers Butts Lane. Neighbours, family and friends will all be attending the event, which brings the community together every year.

Paul, who celebrates his birthday on Christmas Eve, loved helping to light up his house for Christmas as a child and has now got his husband to fall in love with the tradition as well. He told CoventryLive: “It started off when I was about 12 years old when I decided I wanted to start decorating the house.

“Obviously, I was at the right age to want to be enjoying Christmas. When we were younger we did not really have that many decorations up or anything like that, so as I got older I started buying my own decorations and lights and we just started putting them in the house, and then we started to do outdoor lights.”

Paul and Richard, who received an award for being the 'Heart of the Community,' started the tradition of lighting up their home twelve years ago and were 'amazed' to find locals posting donations through the letterbox. It led to the couple deciding to fundraise for a local charity.

After weeks of searching, Paul and Richard decided the charity they would raise money for would be Zoë's Place Baby Hospice. Since they started fundraising, the couple have raised over £27,000.

Paul said: “We are £2,700 short of raising £30,000 for Zoë's Place. It would be amazing to say we have managed to raise that much for charity.”

Paul and Richard have accumulated more than £50,000 worth of Christmas lights since they started creating the huge light displays. However, the charitable couple will be scaling down their display this year due to soaring energy costs.

Running the display usually costs £500 over six weeks, but the cost has doubled this year with the expected bill likely to reach £1,000. Paul said: “We decided to scale it back a little bit by reducing some of the lights.

“Normally, we turn them off at midnight but this time we are going to turn them off at 9.30pm/10pm and by doing that we reckon it will cost just under £1,000. Even cutting the display down with the times and taking some of the lights out will still be double the cost.”

Electrician Paul was adamant about going ahead with the light switch-on despite energy price hikes as the event brings the community together. He said: “It is so much a part of the community now. It is really nice to see. We would be out there and people would come past and say 'your lights are amazing. It put a smile on our face.'”

Everyone will be welcome at the light switch-on which will have a sweet stall, refreshments, and face-painting for children. Other events that will be held at the property over the festive season are 'Santa's Grotto' on December 11 and 18 and a 'Candlelight Vigil' to remember lost loved ones which will take place on December 11.

Paul and Richard will be switching on the huge display on Barker Butts Lane at 7pm today (Thursday, December 1). Click here to donate to the fundraiser for Zoë's Place Baby Hospice.

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