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5th Jul, 2022

Couple turn their home into winter wonderland in memory of neighbour

Catherine Thompson 22nd Dec, 2017 Updated: 22nd Dec, 2017

A FESTIVE family have transformed their home into a winter wonderland to raise money in memory of a neighbour who passed away earlier this year.

Mel Pugh and her husband Mark began decorating their house at Christmas when their eldest son Stephen was born.

And 29 years later the annual display at their Bidford home – which features penguins, snowmen, a train, an igloo and a huge Christmas tree – attracts visitors from across the Midlands.

This year the display is helping raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis department at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital, which the family chose to honour the memory of neighbour Sarah Robinson who passed away from the condition in April aged just 32.

Mel – who works as a childminder – said: “Sarah was never miserable, she always wore a smile. She was a normal wife and mummy. You wouldn’t have thought there was anything wrong.

“She came to see the lights last year and loved them. Now this year we have put them up in her memory.”

The residents have set up a collection box for visitors to drop their coins in, in exchange for the festive fun.

Other charities the family has raised money for include air ambulance, local toddler group Goslings and cancer charities.

Mel’s husband Mark and son Stephen worked over four full weekends to complete the mammoth display, often working late into the night.

They invited neighbours to celebrate the switch-on which included a snow machine.

Mum-of-two Mel said: “The kids loved it, some of the younger ones about three and four, hadn’t even seen snow before. They were dancing around in it and it was sticking to their hats like real snow. I love seeing their faces light up, it’s a big part of why we do it.”

So far the family have collected over £200 for Heartlands Hospital.

Those wishing to donate can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christmaslights2017 or by visiting the house in Marleigh Road.

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