A mad-cap couple have forked out a staggering £20,000 transforming their home into the “UK’s craziest Christmas lights display” despite rocketing energy bills.
Malcolm Molloy, 64, and his wife Wendy, 62, have wowed their neighbours and friends with their elaborate festive illuminations for the last 20 years.
The couple spend weeks covering their four-bedroom home in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, with 10,000 fairy lights before encouraging well-wishers to donate cash to good causes.
Since their first festive switch-on in 2002, the couple have raised more than £100,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and their local hospice.
There were fears the ‘UK’s craziest Christmas lights’ would be toned down this year in response to spiralling energy bills or even cancelled altogether.
But the couple refused to be daunted and even added thousands more lights to make this year’s spectacle bigger than ever.
Their garden is also decked out with dazzling reindeers, swans, penguins, snowmen and, of course, Santa and his sleigh.
Malcolm, a retired fire officer, said: “This year we sat down and thought about the cost of living and energy crisis, but we wanted to keep supporting the hospice so decided to put the lights up for another year.
“I think we are both bonkers, but I love them.
“This year we have added a giant stag that turns different colours.
“I wanted to put it on the roof, but Wendy wouldn’t let me, so I had to compromise and put a smaller deer on the roof and put this one on the front lawn.
“Whilst I put up the bigger ones, Wendy creates themes around the garden with the smaller lights putting them into colours.”
The couple expect this year’s light show to add £1,000 to their usual bill, £250 more than they paid last year.
In a bid to keep costs down, the couple have switched a lot of lights to LED bulbs and are switching the lights off on New Year’s Day instead of putting them on throughout January.
Even with the shortened switch-on period this year, the Molloy’s are expecting their light energy costs to exceed £1,000 this Christmas.
People from all over the region come to visit the display and the couple have even had light-fanatics drive from London, Manchester and Liverpool to see their house light up the street.
Last year, at their light switch-on countdown someone even proposed to their girlfriend on the Christmas sleigh outside the couple’s house.
In total, the couple have forked out around £20,000 on lights and decorations for their front lawn and said they will keep adding to the collection for years to come.
Wendy, who is disabled, said: “Everybody loves them, and it cheers the village up as it is normally so dark because we don’t have any streetlamps in our rural community.
“It’s all for a good cause and we get people visiting from all over the UK.
“When you get the support from people coming to see the lights, it makes you want to continue to put them up.”