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Festive spirit shines bright in one Wisbech street in aid of SAFFA

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Neighbours in a Fenland town are planning to bring a bit of festive cheer and raise money for a good cause with their own Christmas lights extravaganza.

John and Jane Gilmurray and their friends John and Eileen Granger have both decorated their homes in Burrett Road, Wisbech to raise money for the armed forces charity SSAFA - Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association- which provides lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans and their families.

And they are planning to make it even more festive with a special guest appearance from the man himself, Father Christmas, on Saturday (18) and then again on Christmas Eve giving children, and grown-ups a chance to have a quick word with him about those last minute present wishes.

Homes in Burrett Road have been decorated in aid of SAFFA from left: Jane Gilmurray, John and Eileen Granger.
Homes in Burrett Road have been decorated in aid of SAFFA from left: Jane Gilmurray, John and Eileen Granger.

It is the second time this year that the Gilmurrays have decorated their bungalow to help charity. In November they created an eye-catching display involving a cascade of poppies and silhouettes of soldiers to raise money for the Royal British Legion.

John Gilmurray said: "We were blown away by how supportive everyone who passes by our home was for the Poppy Appeal. We initially raised £928 but then we had a knock on the door from a local driving school chap who said he drives up and down our road and was impressed by the display.

"He handed over a cheque for £72 rounding our total up to £1,000 - which is amazing as it was double our hoped for target."

Now the lights are up and shining brightly each evening now from 5pm to 9pm during the week and from 4.30pm at weekends and there is a collecting tin for donations.

On Saturday December 18 and Christmas Eve Father Christmas will be there from 5pm ready to chat with everyone ahead for the big day, and he will be accompanied by his elf helpers.

It has been a busy time for John Gilmurray, who served briefly in the RAF, as he first had to dismantle the poppy display before then redecorating with thousands of lights with the display including deer and artificial trees creating a winter wonderland for all to enjoy.

John added: "It has taken a lot of work over the past few weeks to get all the lights up, but it is worth it. The Grangers have also done a fantastic job and we hope everyone will enjoy looking at the displays and hopefully dig deep for the charity.

"We also hope people will come along to meet Father Christmas and to join in singing some carols, we want it to be full of festive cheer."

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