Westfield residents have once again lit up the outside of their homes as they continue to raise thousands of pounds for St Michael’s Hospice.
Since 2005, the people who have decorated their homes have raised a staggering £84,941.70.
After this year’s lights were put on display, Perdita Chamberlain, a spokeswoman for St Michael’s Hospice said: “We are incredibly grateful for the support received from Westfield village, the Christmas lights are such an important part of Christmas for many hundreds, if not thousands of people.
“The excitement and enthusiasm of those involved with the lights makes it such an annual success.
“Our thanks to all in Westfield for bringing joy to so many.”
The village tradition dates back to 1975 when Wilf Tomsett who thought, after many years of residents raising money to build their community hall, it would be a great idea for them to get together without having to think about raising money.
They all gathered around the fir tree in his garden for an evening of carols, and music and, to this day, the tradition continues despite Mr Tomsett’s death.
His wife Jean, who still lives in the same house, provides a hot soup for everyone as they gather around the same – albeit bigger – fir tree, which is still decorated with lights every year.
Once the community hall was built in 1984, residents wanted to continue to fund raise and the Tompsett’s event was seen as an ideal starting point with all donations received going the St Michael’s Hospice. The fund-raising continues to this day but, since 2001, resident Ken Munday and some of his like-minded neighbours decided to put up Christmas displays on and around their homes too.
At 89, Mr Munday still puts up his own displays and with other residents stands outside every night with a St Michael’s Hospice collection bucket.
Over the years more and more households have joined in the display, not only in Church Lane but throughout the village.
The official figures show that since 2005, the residents have raised £84,941.70 for St Michael’s Hospice although the true figure, going back the to 1970’s, is thought to be over the £100,000 mark.
If you haven’t already or even if you have in the past, please pay a visit and take a look at this year’s wonderful display. There may be some special guests on certain evenings.
All donations go directly to the charity and the displays continue to the New Year.
The residents of Westfield thanked everyone for all the past donations and said they look forward to welcoming visitors again this year.