Portchester couple hope to raise thousands for charity with dazzling Christmas light display

SPREADING festive cheer and goodwill is top of the agenda for one Christmas-loving Portchester couple who are set to turn on their beloved annual light display in aid of charity.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 10:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 12:09 pm

Generous Bill and Barbara Wright will be flipping the switch on their ‘bigger than ever’ luminous tableau, complete with penguins, deer, snowmen and Santas, at the front of their home in The Crossway from 4.30pm on December 1.

The spectacle took around a month to set up and roughly 20 minutes to actually switch on but the grandparents say it is ‘all worth it’ with all donations from the public going towards Woodsy’s Pantry – a local foodbank.

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Barbara and Bill Wright have decorated their house in Portchester with Christmas lights, for charity Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 291121-28)

Last year the pair’s efforts raised an astonishing £3,500 for the pantry and they are keen to match or beat their record.

‘We were just blown away by how much we raised,’ Barbara, 77, said.

‘People were truly so generous.’

Bill, 78, said: ‘We will be raising money for the pantry again because it’s such an important cause.

Barbara and Bill Wright have decorated their house in Portchester with Christmas lights, for charity Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 291121-26)

‘Many local people are struggling to afford to eat, and the money given to the pantry will be spent buying food in local shops so it benefits the whole area.’

Like every year a few additions have been made to the display, including Barbara’s favourite in Derek the Dachshund – although it still includes a penguin bought in Barbara’s homeland Germany about 40 years ago.

She added: ‘We went to Germany around the time we were married and we saw how there were so many more Christmas lights there than on homes in England and I think that’s where it all started.’

The couple have been adorning their home with festive lights for decades but in the last 15 years they decided to ask visitors for donations towards charities.

‘We love Christmas,’ Bill said.

‘This is a way to share that with everyone while doing some good. People come to visit the lights and say such nice things.

‘They really enjoy them.’

You can see the display at 193 The Crossway from December 1 to January 5. The lights will be on every evening from 4.30pm to 9pm.

Donations can be made in a box at the address or online via gofundme.com/f/bill-barbaras-winter-wonderland-lights

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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