For 18 years The Dellaway family have been bringing a smile to the faces of hundreds of local children with their Christmas lights display at their Whitehall Road house.

The preparation has become like  a military operation and starts on December 27 at 7am with Derek and Olive stocking up in the sales on replacement lights and decorations.

 The family save throughout the year to cover the cost of replacement lights and electricity then two months before Christmas they begin to plan the design for this year’s display and then the hard work begins with making the frames and fitting the lights.

It takes two and a half weeks to construct and then from December 1, the lights go on each night from 4.30pm to 10.30pm.

Olive explains it started small when their four now grown up children were young but every year it gets ‘bigger and bigger’ and this year its even bigger!

Trees, lights, and inflatable snowmen, Santa’s, reindeer and snowflakes all adorn the front of their Thornton Heath house. Olive added: “We love Christmas. It is such a special time and it makes it all worth whlie to see the smiles on the children’s faces.”