A Bolsover family are facing a £500 spike in their electricity bill - thanks to the spectacular Christmas lights on their two bed semi.
The decorations on Wayne Skinner’s house use so much power that the family have to make flasks of tea before switching the lights on as the extra power needed to heat the kettle might overload the system.
Electrician, Wayne (26) and his dad, John, spend seven weeks each year festooning their home with every imaginable decoration.
Wayne was a toddler when he first became obsessed with Christmas lights after seeing the Blackpool Illuminations. One look was enough to spark the start of a life-long obsession with the resort’s famous lights.
He has even managed to buy some of the actual displays used at the seaside town.
“I’ve always wanted to get a job working on the Blackpool Illuminations but I think they only employ people who live nearby, so I decided to make my own”, explained Wayne.
“It’s a nice thing to put a hobby into making people smile, making people happy and raising money for charity at the same time. It’s a win-win , everyone benefits really” explained Wayne.
Last night, Santa (Wayne’s mum Susan!) arrived for the switching-on ceremony on a white carriage pulled by two white shire-horses. Naturally the horses were also decorated with blue fairy lights.
This year the Skinners are raising money for the local air ambulance. They have raised thousands for charity over the last 12 years.
Wayne uses a computer to program the lights to flash in sequence with the music. “It took me six and a half hours to program Frozen – the latest song we’ve added. If it’s raining people can still hear the music on their car radio as I broadcast it on 93 FM”
Wayne has no idea how much they’ve spent on decorations over the years. Each year more things are added. This year there’s a pixel matrix screen – built by Wayne. There’s also a reindeer-cam on one of the reindeer’s eyes this also screens the view of people watching the display into the Skinner’s front room along with seven other cameras.
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Video, images and words courtesy of F Stop Press Ltd (www.fstoppress.com)