Worthing street takes Christmas lights to a whole new level

For many people, Christmas is their favourite time of year. Time spent with family eating good food, exchanging nice gifts and revelling in the Christmas spirit make it a particularly happy time. One of the other aspects of Christmas which some people love are the light displays and decorations.

: Latest on Coca-Cola Christmas truck tour dates and locations as major change made And one street in Worthing, West Sussex, has taken light displays to a whole new level.

Join SussexLive and sign up to our newsletter

You can sign up to SussexLive and comment on our stories by pressing here and logging in. Signing up to the SussexLive newsletter means you’ll get the latest news direct to your inbox twice a day.

It couldn’t be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your address in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms. Those living on Saxifrage Way have teamed together to create an almighty display covering two houses.

Residents at number 14 and 16 first started cooperating on their light displays four years ago. Since then, they have built more and more in recent years to create what is seen today.

Worthing street takes Christmas lights to a whole new levelWork started on the impressive display in the middle of October

What started out as a bit of fun is now done for a charitable cause – the Air Ambulance of Kent, Surrey and Sussex (AAKSS). Liam Gobey, 23, who is one of those behind the display, said: “Our first year was for Macmillan Cancer Support raising just over GBP250.

“Then last year we decided to raise for the AAKSS after their COVID appeal, and ending up raising just over GBP5,000 with the help of the Worthing Lions Charity who donated a whopping GBP782.68.”

The display is switched on from 5pm to 10pm every day, remaining illuminated until January 1, at which point it will be slowly packed away for next Christmas – with the lights being crammed into the attics and the sheds. The display was almost not allowed to take place – a housing officer only gave them the OK to proceed a couple of weeks before the grand unveiling – a situation Liam said was “very stressful.” Liam outlined the motivation behind the display.

Worthing street takes Christmas lights to a whole new levelSanta greets those who visit

He said: “For many years, we loved seeing everyone else’s Christmas lights and each year we would just put a small single set out on the porch, then one year we decided ‘let’s start building our own display’.”

All those involved work full time jobs, meaning that building the display had to be done whenever they had a spare minute in their race against the clock to get it finished in time for their launch date on November 21. He said: “We started construction of the display back on October 11 and it’s taken a total of 41 days to complete – starting when we did was vital to get the display completed and ready for our turn on date. “The display was done on our days off and any time we had before or after work – we all help each other out with whatever needs doing and what people are best at doing.”

Worthing street takes Christmas lights to a whole new levelThe display has grown year on year

In the end, slightly more than 100 people turned up to watch the switch on, with a donation bucket being placed by the display for those wanting to donate.

While the lights themselves have cost thousands of pounds, Liam clarified a question many people are sure to have been asking – how much does it cost to run? “It’s not as expensive as people may think,” he said. “From our smart meter we can monitor the amount of electricity being used which works out to be around GBP5 to GBP6 a day.”

Last year, the fundraiser exceeded their expectations, and they hope to go one better in 2021 in their quest to ensure the air ambulance is well funded.

Worthing street takes Christmas lights to a whole new levelA good crowd arrived to see the switch on

“With the success of last years display, we decided to stay supporting the KSS Air Ambulance as they were so grateful and amazing throughout the whole fundraising period,” said Liam. “After raising over GBP5,000 last year when our target was just GBP400, we would absolutely love to be able to top it this year. “The reason we are so passionate about raising funds for the AAKSS is because they rely on the community to keep them flying.”

The Air Ambulance of Kent, Surrey and Sussex require GBP15 million of funding every year to keep their services going – around 88 percent of this money is raised from public fundraisers and donations.

A fundraiser page has been set up by the Saxifrage Way team, those wishing to donate can do so by clicking here.

For more information on the Air Ambulance of Kent, Surrey and Sussex, visit their website here.