Christmas spirit shines out in Melksham

Some of the hundreds of visitors who have descended on Longford Road this month for the light show created by Alex Goodhind

Some of the hundreds of visitors who have descended on Longford Road this month for the light show created by Alex Goodhind

First published in Melksham by

An electrician’s festive lights display in Melksham has attracted attention from around the world and now looks set to smash his own Christmas fundraising record.

Alex Goodhind spent a month decorating the outside of his father’s house in Longford Road, using 180,000 lights, to raise money for Dorothy House hospice.

Since the switch-on two weeks ago, hundreds of people have travelled to the house and Mr Goodhind has been inundated with media attention.

Pictures have appeared in national newspapers and live broadcasts by the BBC News Channel and ITV’s Daybreak have taken place from outside the house. A reporter with a Brazilian television channel also visited for two hours.

Inspired by his efforts, neighbours have decorated their own homes, with the whole street raising money.

Friends of Mr Goodhind have spent every night at the house dressed up – as Father Christmas, elf helpers and a giant reindeer to collect money from visitors.

His father, Colin Goodhind, said: “We’re already well on target to beat our 2009 total and have already received over £4,000. People have been very generous.”

The lights have proved a big hit with the visitors. Alice Warburton, 19, of Corsham, took her friend, Becky Cudworth, also 19, from Nottingham, to see them on Tuesday.

Ms Cudworth said: “Alice sent me a link to pictures of the lights through Facebook and I knew I had to come down. This is so much better than I was expecting, I couldn’t even talk when I first saw it.”

Janice West, 62, of Keevil, brought daughter Kathryn Hutchings and granddaughter Eleanor from Stanton St Bernard to see the lights.

She said: “It was absolutely wonderful. I think they have done a fantastic job. It’s just lovely to see so many people.”

Eleanor, nine, added: “I had seen it on the telly, but it’s even better in real life.”

Lawrence and Jill Brooks came from Chippenham with their children, Matthew and Hannah.

Mr Brooks said: “We were surprised to see it’s more than one house. It’s amazing that so many of the neighbours have got involved. We always try to find the best lights and this is so much better than Chippenham.”

The lights are due to stay until January 2. Donations to Dorothy House can also be made via www.justgiving.

com/longfordlights.

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