Santa's sleigh 'delivers' £800 gift for Sidmouth Lifeboat

Malcolm and Barbara's Christmas display in their garden

Malcolm and Barbara's Christmas display in their garden - Credit: Sidmouth Lifeboat

A Christmas lights display in Sidmouth’s Woolbrook Park brought festive cheer to the neighbourhood and raised more than £800 for Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat. 

Residents Malcolm Nesfield and Barbara Wallace have been lighting up their garden at Christmas for five years, and plenty of people come to see their displays. This year they decided to invite spectators to make donations to a local charity. 

The pair created the centrepiece of the display themselves, with Barbara designing the sleigh as far back as April and Malcolm starting work to make it in June. They added coloured lights in the surrounding trees and an illuminated open door to welcome Santa in. 

Malcolm said: “We turn on the lights on the 1st of December, so I start putting up the lights up during the first week of October to give us plenty of time, in case bad weather meant I couldn’t be out there working.” 

“Lots of people from all over come to see them go on - we coordinate with our neighbours to do it all at the same time. Then the lights stay on until the 1st of January.” 

Barbara said: “We wanted the money to go to a local charity. Keith Bartles, who is involved with Sidmouth Lifeboat, is one of our neighbours and was kindly able to get us a collection tin. 

“We just want to say thank you so much to everyone who came to see the lights and who donated. Some people were very generous.” 

L-R_Charli Higgins from Sidmouth Lifeboat_Barbara Wallace_Malcolm Nesfield

L-R_Charli Higgins from Sidmouth Lifeboat with Barbara Wallace and Malcolm Nesfield - Credit: Sidmouth Lifeboat

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Charli Higgins, PR Officer for Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Malcolm and Barbara and have the opportunity to enjoy their incredible light display.  

“The time and effort that they put into designing, making and building the display every year is just phenomenal, and we are so grateful that they used all that hard work to raise money for Sidmouth Independent Lifeboat.  

“Thank you so much Malcolm and Barbara for bringing this special kind of joy to Sidmouth at Christmas time and for thinking of us in the process. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next year!”