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Communities in Devon and Cornwall lighting up for Christmas period

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 03, 2012

Clockwise from main:   Burnham-on-Sea; Yorkie  and bell-ringers at Chulmleigh; Broadclyst; Molly Sharples Chulmleigh Fair Queen; Liskeard lights up

Clockwise from main: Burnham-on-Sea; Yorkie and bell-ringers at Chulmleigh; Broadclyst; Molly Sharples Chulmleigh Fair Queen; Liskeard lights up

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Christmas lights are glittering brightly today across the Westcountry with festive celebrations painting smiles on thousands of faces.

Chulmleigh in Devon saw its annual street fair and lantern parade illuminating the streets.

Lights and Christmas trees dot Fore Street and a Yuletide food, gifts and crafts street fair was held on Saturday.

Father Christmas was on hand to perform the grand switching-on ceremony.

Children clasping colourful glowing lanterns laced their way through the streets in the annual parade.

Seasonal music, several short performances by the school band, a working model railway display and carriage rides with Father Christmas kept youngsters happy for hours.

At Broadclyst Church, near Exeter, spectators watched the raising of the traditional illuminated cross above the building to mark the start of advent. Over the years the cross has become a well-known landmark shining out across the dark countryside over the festive period.

At Liskeard, Cornwall Saturday also saw the town's "Lights Before Christmas" extravaganza.

To get Christmas shoppers in the mood the Liskeard Silver Band, Sterts Christmas Choir and Val Cottrell and friends sang out songs from the musical Oliver.

Other parades and firework displays have been held across Cornwall at Newquay, Callington and Saltash.

But for six Westcountry families it was a case of the Christmas crowds coming to see them. Trinity Close in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset is arguably the region's most colourful cul-de-sac with almost 100,000 Christmas lights.

Each of the six families have paid around £3,000 each for 15,000 fairy lights which cover their homes and gardens.

Their homes are also adorned with sparkling Santas, reindeers and snowmen until the New Year.

Nick, 43, and Hazel Gardner, 42, started the tradition 12 years ago with neighbours Chris Woodberry, 64, and his late wife Christine, who died in 2010, aged 61.

Mrs Gardner said: "Every year we try to change the display to keep it looking fresh, so this year all of the illuminations have been put in different places.

"I think it looks absolutely fantastic, it is definitely our best year so far."

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