Watch as family lights up Washington street with nearly 200 Christmas decorations - and it's all for a good cause

'I just love Christmas and seeing the smiles on the kids' faces'
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The kind hearted Ilsley family are looking to spread some festive cheer and raise money to support disabled children after decorating their house and garden in nearly 200 Christmas lights and illuminations.

Displaying over 80 hard plastic illuminations, including Santa clauses, snowmen and festive cartoon characters, the garden has also been covered in fake snow, north pole candy sticks and even a post box for children to write to Father Christmas with their present lists.

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The garden of the house is also home to a 16ft Grinch while the wall of the family home is lit up by a giant Merry Christmas sign.

Bradley Ilsley has been creating the display for over 10 years.Bradley Ilsley has been creating the display for over 10 years.
Bradley Ilsley has been creating the display for over 10 years.

The family are officially planning to switch on their impressive display on Sunday, November 26, but the Echo were invited along for a sneak peek ahead of the eagerly awaited event.

The display, which has taken around three weeks to construct, was created by Bradley Ilsley, at his mother’s family home in Lambton Washington.

Bradley, 25, said: “I just love Christmas and seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces when we turn the lights on.

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“It’s something nice to do on these cold winter nights and families in the street and further afield always love to come and see the lights.”

Bradley Illsley and Jessica Thornton with children Kodi, 5, Holly Mae, 2 and grandmother Rosalind Illsley.Bradley Illsley and Jessica Thornton with children Kodi, 5, Holly Mae, 2 and grandmother Rosalind Illsley.
Bradley Illsley and Jessica Thornton with children Kodi, 5, Holly Mae, 2 and grandmother Rosalind Illsley.

Although Bradley now lives in his own home with his partner Jessica and children Kodi and Holly Mae, he started the display at the family home as a teenager and it has “grown bigger and bigger each year”.

He added: “I’ve been doing this now for over a decade. My grandmother loved Christmas and I first started by doing it with her.

“The first display had three silhouettes and some icicle lights and I now have more than 150 decorations which I’ve just built up year on year.

“People now even buy me new decorations for Christmas.”

The display above the family house.The display above the family house.
The display above the family house.
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As the popularity of the display grew, three years ago Bradley decided to harness its appeal to raise money for charity.

This year the family are raising money for the Heel and Toe Children’s Charity. Based in Chester-le-Street the charity provides a range of therapies for children with physical disabilities and in particular cerebral palsy.

Bradley said: “The first year we raised money for the British Heart Foundation. My son Kodi is autistic and so last year we raised over £1,000 for the National Autistic Society.

“We chose Heel and Toe after putting a message out on our Facebook page asking for suggestions.

“Hopefully we can beat last year’s total.”

The display contains nearly 200 illuminated decorations.The display contains nearly 200 illuminated decorations.
The display contains nearly 200 illuminated decorations.
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Bradley’s mother Rosalind Ilsley, 57, who owns the family home, added: “Bradley has always loved Christmas and started doing this as a child. Families in the street love it.

“When we turn on our lights people know it’s Christmas.”

People can donate by using the secure donation box at the family home or via their JustGivingPage.  

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