The best Christmas light displays across Croydon in 2012
BRIGHT sparks across the borough have turned their homes into a winter wonderland of lights and decorations.
Residents in Pinewood Close, Shirley, have become renowned for their impressive Christmas displays over the years, and for raising funds for good causes in the process.
Richard Spencer, 25, said: "People had been coming to see the lights for years and my sister suggested we should raise money for charity.
"Christmas is about the children and lifting spirits and 100 per cent of our proceeds go to Great Ormond Street Hospital and Starlight, an unfunded charity which aims to make the dreams of terminally ill children come true.
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"We add more and more lights every year and we are raising more money each year.
Paul Calver, 67, also of Pinewood Close, raised £2,000 last year. He said: "I started doing it for the children and when one of the neighbours suggested doing it for charity it made perfect sense.
"It takes a week to get all the lights out but I enjoy it. Cars pull up and on Friday night children came to see the display and sing carols."
Billy and Lisa McKay, of King Henry's Drive, New Addington, were unsure whether they would put up their display this year, but eventually decided to once more show their Christmas spirit.
Lisa said: "My dad does it every year, but we've had a couple of bereavements in the family and we didn't know whether it would happen this year.
"The whole family pulled together and it took about a day and a half to put it all up.
"The neighbours love it. We had a little girl come by the other day who ran up and said 'Your house is amazing'. There's no other house down here like it."
Chris Tipp, 59, of Warbank Crescent, New Addington, has been putting up Christmas lights for 20 years. He said: "I started putting them up when my children were young and now I have grandchildren, so it's nice for them when they visit.
"The neighbours love it. Children come round and knock on the door. It's all part of getting in the Christmas spirit."
Carol Milgate, 62, of Goodwin Road, Waddon, explained how her husband and her neighbour, Andre Silva, 19, join forces to put up their display.
She said: "It takes them about two days to put up. The neighbour across the road has a child and she loves it, so he keeps putting it up every year and adding to it."
The lights of Gary Jeal's home, in Tollers Lane, Old Coulsdon, have been a familiar sight for several years.
Gary, 47, told the Advertiser: "I started doing it for my kids years ago. It's become expected now.
"All my niece's friends ask when it's going to go up and look forward to it."