Christmas lights shining bright at homes in West Midlands

A decorated dinghy, a singing Santa and huge lit-up children’s characters have all formed part of festive light displays at homes in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Willenhall.

Bill Wakefield, 71, of Hawkley Close, East Park, has been dressing up his 15-year-old disused dinghy outside his flat for 10 years and says the sign of him putting up his ‘whirlygig’ in the boat signals the coming of Christmas to children in his street. The 12ft long fibreglass sailing dinghy, which takes Mr Wakefield ‘a couple of days’ to decorate, boasts two illuminated reindeer at the front, with Santa behind the reigns.

It also has an illuminated snowman behind the mast and a ‘whirlygig’ inside the boat, made up of three windcatchers and three wooden profiles of Santa. Mr Wakefield, a retired courier for Walsall Council and part-time Santa, said: “It lights the whole street up. I never have any complaints – the neighbours love it.

Another house where the lights are shining brightly is in Holman Road, Willenhall, and belongs to Beverley Ware, 51, and her 49-year-old husband Stephen.

Every year, their home is dressed up with hundreds of lights and even an image beamed on to the house using a projector.

“They take a good couple of days to put up,” said Mrs Ware. We have around 70 plugs outside in a box.We’ve got everything you can think of really, including a singing Father Christmas and the projector.”

A festive display at a home in Exeter Place, Alumwell, is also helping to spread the Christmas cheer. A huge Winnie the Pooh, santas and snowmen have brightened up the garden, while more festive lights decorate the outside of the house.