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Tony and Margaret light up the village

December 2012

 

Over the past 18 years Hethersett couple Tony and Margaret Dunton have raised thousands of pounds for local charities by getting lit up at Christmas.

The spirit of Christmas has inspired the couple for almost two decades to turn their garden in Firs Road into a winter wonderland of lights and invention – turning their garage into the Bethlehem stable and their front garden into a pageant of Christmas.

Once again this year, people of all ages have enjoyed the festive lights and contributed to the couple’s favourite charities – the Norfolk Accident Rescue Service and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

NEWS UPDATE - The display raised £325 in donations to be split between the two charities.

December 2011

 

Seventeen years and still going strong. The spirit of Christmas once again came to the village as Toney and Margaret Dunton switched on their Christmas lights for the festive season.

The couple launched this year's lights on December 3rd to give youngsters from the local schools plenty of time to see them before the end of term.

Once again in 2011 the couple will be collecting donations for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the local doctors' surgery.

 

December 2010

The gift for Christmases past present and future is once again featured in the festive lights of a Hethersett house. 

For the 16th year in a row Tony and Margaret Dunton have turned their front garden in Firs Road into a winter wonderland and this year even the weather has been in their favour. 

For the snow has added to the atmosphere as Tony and Margaret have introduced some new features including a singing Santa Claus. 

Each year hundreds of people pay a visit for some festive cheer and whilst Christmas past is represented by the legacy from the previous 15 years and Christmas present is there for all to see, Christmas future is represented by the gift that donations will bring to two worthy causes – the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the local doctors’ surgery. 

The lights will be switched on after dark through the rest of December and into the New Year and annually raise over £600 for the charities. This year £100 has already been collected by the Christmas mad couple.

 

December 2009 To see coverage of this story in the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury newspaper click here,

There are certain traditions in a village that make Christmas a really special time of year for all.

Every Christmas for the past 15 years Tony and Margaret Dunton of Hethersett have got lit up for the festive season - and all in a good cause.

For the couple’s house in Firs Road is awash with Christmas lights, both inside and out. Hundreds of people each year visit the highly colourful display of elves, Santas, reindeers, lights and a garage nativity scene. Over the years Tony and Margaret have raised thousands of pound for local charities through donations. This year money raised will go to the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the local doctors’ surgery. Last year they raised over £600.

Tony and Margaret admit that they are mad about Christmas. That’s why Tony spends a week putting the display together and making subtle changes to previous years. Taking them down is a much easier task, taking only a couple of hours.

The switch on takes place after dark and will continue until he first week of January.

 

December 2008

Tony and Margaret Dunton with their Christmas creation - 2008. Also pictured on the left is five year old Eleanor Rowsell. Click on the images to enlarge them

Tony and Margaret Dunton like nothing more than getting lit up for Christmas and all in a good cause. 

It scarcely seems like Christmas in Hethersett until the Dunton’s light up their bungalow in Firs Road. Christmas 2008 sees the 14th year since the couple started their annual switch on and turned their home into an Aladdin’s cave of Christmas cheer. 

This year the couple will be collecting donations for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the local doctors’ surgery. Over the years they have raised thousands of pounds for local good causes. As well as attracting children, parents and grandparents, the Duntons have this year become television personalities. 

Their home was featured on Anglia Television who showed a part of the Christmas festivities that most visitors miss. For the inside of Tony and Margaret’s home is as festive as the outside with no fewer than five Christmas trees as well as virtually every Christmas decoration imaginable. 

The electricity bill for the Christmas period works out at over £35 a week, but the couple say it is worth every penny thanks to the looks on the children’s faces when they see the outside display which this year features the customary nativity scene in front of the garage along with a Santa train, a few more reindeers and some very attractive additional lights. 

The display continues throughout the Christmas season and donations can be made in a collecting box on the gate.

 

December 2007

Celebrating Christmas in a colourful way and raising money for charity are the aims of a Hethersett couple that once again are bringing a festive sparkle to the village.

For the past 11 years Tony and Margaret Dunton have lit up Christmas in Firs Road and also raised hundreds of pounds for charity.

This year’s display is better than ever with some new figures and a large Father Christmas providing a guard of honour to reindeers, trees, Disney characters and an impressive crib scene.

Each year Tony and Margaret attract many visitors and one resident remarked that it isn’t really Christmas in the village until the couple’s “big switch on.”

Once again this year they will be asking for donations for the Norfolk Air Ambulance and the local doctors’ surgery. The lights go on when it gets dark at about 5 p.m and stay on until late evening and the display will continue into the New Year.

Tony and Margaret are keen Christmas collectors and scarcely a year goes by without an impressive addition that can come from virtually anywhere in the British Isles. They began in a small way 11 years ago by decorating one of their new bay windows and the whole thing blossomed from there.

Their reason for continuing is twofold – to bring a smile to the face of local children and residents and to raise money for local worthy causes. They continue to achieve both with consummate ease.

“We love children’s response to the lights,” Tony said adding that it takes him about a week to put up the full display.

Tony is also well known in the village as a top bowls player and a former England singles champion. He is still very active in the sport, bowling for Acle and organising area competitions.  

© Peter Steward 2007

December 2006
Tony with his lights on the left and on the right  the display itself

 

Tony and Margaret light up the village

FOR the past 10 years a Hethersett couple have been bringing a Christmas sparkle to the village. 

At the same time Tony and Margaret Dunton have raised hundreds of pounds for charity. 

Every year they deck the outside of their house and front garden in Firs Road with Christmas characters and lights and over the years it has become one of the biggest village Christmas attractions with people making special viewing trips. 

Tony and Margaret began in a small way a decade ago by decorating one of their new bay windows and the whole thing blossomed from there. This year they have a host of characters from wise men to Disney characters, a giant lighted candle, sleighs and, of course, Santa himself. 

Tony and Margaret admit that they have become fanatical, buying in items from all over the British Isles. It all started when Margaret wanted to bring a smile to the faces of young children attending Woodside First School which is a few hundred yards away. 

It takes Tony about a week to put all the characters and lights up and he even utilises his garage as a crib scene. The fun starts on 1st December and the lights stay in place until Twelfth Night. The display is usually switched on about 5 p.m and shuts down for the night at 10.30 p.m. During that time it is visited by motorists and villagers on foot. 

Tony and Margaret have a collection box for people to make donations: “We usually get between £14 and £15 a night,” Tony said. This year the money will be divided between the Norfolk Air Ambulance and the local doctors’ surgery. 

“We love children’s response to the lights,” Tony said adding that he was already looking to next year’s display. 

Tony is also well known in the village as a top bowls player and a former England singles champion. He is still very active in the sport, bowling for Acle and organising area competitions.

© Peter Steward 2006