Wellingborough house a riot of colour for firefighters charity

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It all started with a string of lights on a cherry tree but, 20 years later, the Beetson family home in Wellingborough is adorned with thousands of Christmas lights.

This year Karl Beetson is putting on the display at his house in Torrington Road to attract donations in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity, which uses its funds to help serving or retired, injured firefighters and their families.

Firefighters from Wellingborough Fire Station attended the official switch-on of the display on Friday (December 2) evening, in recognition of the family’s chosen charity for this year.

Mr Beetson, whose annual displays have even been featured in a Channel 4 documentary called King of Christmas Lights, said: “It all started probably about 20 years ago when my dad put up a single string of lights on a cherry tree.

“Nine years ago we started collecting for charities and during this time we have raised about £15,000 for different charities.”

Mr Beetson does not know the exact number of lights his display now includes, but believes there are ‘tens of thousands’.

The illuminations in Torrington Road, which are all synchronised to music, attract daily donations from onlookers keen to lend their support.

Mr Beetson said: “Last year we raised £3,840 and this year we would really like to achieve £4,000.”

Wellingborough firefighter Ronnie Sherratt was one of the crew members who attended the display’s switch-on on Friday.

He said: “This is the first year we have been along to the display and we used the opportunity to promote fire safety messages around Christmas.

“I think it is a really good thing that Karl is doing in supporting a charity that does so much to help firefighters and their families.

“We were proud to go along and show our support at the event.”

To find out more about the Beetson light display, visit www.karlschristmasdisplay.co.uk.

For more information about The Fire Fighters Charity, visit http://www.firefighterscharity.org.uk.