70-year-old has been lighting up Epping home for 16 years

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Zac Gregory aged 3 enjoys the lights in Broadoaks, Epping Zac Gregory aged 3 enjoys the lights in Broadoaks, Epping

A great-grandfather is lighting up his family’s Christmas with an ever-growing display of illuminations.

It is the 16th year Phil Hockley, of Broadoaks, Epping, has put up the lights around his house and garden.

The 70-year-old started the tradition when his granddaughter Stacey, 22, suggested it and he does all the work himself.

He said: “It takes a few weeks, but it depends on the weather.

“The family loves it and the neighbours love it. The kids come and knock on the door and ask me when the lights are going up.”

“I sometimes let the kids get photos with them too, but you have to be careful of the wires.”

The pensioner estimated his average annual spend on the lighting to be around £50 or £60, with this year’s investment securing an 8ft snowman and Father Christmas.

Mr Hockley added: "I used to get the lights after Christmas when they were going cheap, but they don't do that anymore."

“Over the year some of the lights have gone and some bulbs you can’t replace now.

“I’ve got three penguins which will have to go this year and a couple of bulbs out.

“I’ll have a tinker with a them though if they’re going to be in the paper.”


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