Portchester couple put up hundreds of Christmas lights for dazzling display to help food bank

A DAZZLING light display is brightening up a Portchester couple’s house to raise charity funds for the 10th year in a row.

Saturday, 28th November 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th November 2020, 9:08 am
Bill and Barbara Wright outside their home in Portchester on 27 November 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Retired pair Bill and Barbara Wright have spent the past month setting up hundreds of lights on their house and front garden in The Crossway in a bid to support Portchester Foodbank.

Their huge display has brought some sparkle to the street for decades, however for 10 years they have decorated their house and garden to boost local charities and schools.

Bill, 77, said: ‘We had just done it for fun, but about 10 years ago everyone was telling us to do it for charity. We get so much pleasure out of it and it’s fun for everybody.’

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Bill and Barbara Wright have been decorating their house and gardens with Christmas lights for the last 10 years for a local charities. This year they’ve decided on The Portchester food bank. Pictured: Decorations around ths house in Portchester on 27 November 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Despite not thinking their display would be appealing for charity donations, Bill and Barbara took on the challenge and raised thousands for Portsmouth Hospitals’ Rocky Appeal over the years.

On this year’s chosen cause, Bill added: ‘It’s the topic of the moment, people having problems with food and the school dinners. When I looked into it, I found the food bank was looking after 40 families in Portchester.’

Before retirement from his position as director for a building company’s contract procurement, Bill used to take a week’s annual leave to get their over-the-top display ready.

Bill and Barbara Wright have been decorating their house and gardens with Christmas lights for the last 10 years for a local charities. This year they’ve decided on The Portchester food bank. Pictured: Some of the decorations around the home in Portchester on 27 November 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Usually, their back garden and the inside of their home is also adorned with colourful lights but they are unable to do so this year.

Their collection of 20 plastic boxes full of strings of bulbs, which means their car will not fit in the garage, will instead decorate the front of the building so it can be viewed from the street.

Bill said: ‘So many people say to us they dread our electric bills.’

Bill and Barbara Wright have been decorating their house and gardens with Christmas lights for the last 10 years for a local charities. This year they’ve decided on The Portchester food bank. Pictured: Some of the decorations around the home in Portchester on 27 November 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

However, the pair have done the maths over the years and he said their Christmas display costs less than a packet of cigarettes a month or half a pint of beer a week.

Despite their display not even being officially switched on yet, the couple have already pulled in more than £100 for the food bank, with plenty more to come.

The lights will be switched on between 5pm and 9pm from Tuesday, December 1, through to January 5.

A donation pot will be outside Barbara and Bill’s house, or visit gf.me/u/y7993w to donate online.

Bill and Barbara Wright have been decorating their house and gardens with Christmas lights for the last 10 years for a local charities. This year they’ve decided on The Portchester food bank. Pictured: Some of the decorations around the home in Portchester on 27 November 2020. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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