If you've ever been frustrated by tangled Christmas tree lights, spare a thought for Brian Oakes who has just arranged 10,000 lights outside his Warkworth house.
Brian decorates his house and garden at 31 Ashmore Cres every Christmas and invites people to come and enjoy the spectacle. Visitors can show their appreciation by putting some spare change in the box provided, and Brian will give all donations to the Warkworth Wellsford Hospice.
Brian spent a fortnight installing lights and decorations and he will switch them on every evening until January 6. He began the annual ritual when he and wife Sue moved into their new house six years ago, but his interest began years before that.
As a child growing up in England, Brian was keen on puppet theatre and model trains, and his chosen career in electronics perfectly matched his hobbies. While a young married man he would decorate his home interior with waterfalls, Santa's grottos and other seasonal models, often having to make the electronic components himself.
These days, the seemingly endless choice of ready-made models makes it a little easier, if no less expensive, for Brian to fill his house with snowy villages, musical carousels and Santa trains.
- Rodney Times
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