Christmas creations come to light

19:13, Dec 18 2013
Terry Hutton
LABOUR OF LOVE: Terry Hutton's display on his Tory Street home, part of the Light Up Nelson competition.

A woman who was so delighted with the colourful, musical Christmas lights display at Terry Sutton's home, she scribbled a note of thanks and popped it in his letterbox.

For Mr Sutton, that made all the work that goes into brightening Nelson's Christmas worthwhile.

The point of difference in the display at his Tory St home is the lights are sequenced to music, so visitors are treated to a 20-minute sequence of 10 Christmas songs.

Rob and Claire Hodgman
FESTIVE GLOW: Rob and Claire Hodgman at their Tukuka Street home.

Those who turn up on foot to watch see an impressive display of 45,000 lights, but those who come in their car and tune in to 87.9LPFM get the added joy of the music that goes with it.

Mr Sutton, who previously worked as a television broadcasting electronic engineer, starts in May to put together his Christmas display.

He's grateful to the Nelson Recycling Centre for being able to source discarded steel and lights for his festive structures.


Terry Hutton
CROWD PLEASER: Spectators gather outside Terry Hutton's Tory St home to catch a glimpse of his co-ordinated sound and light show.

This year he's added a Christmas tree that sings a Spongebob song, and stars that explode out the top of trees. He added an extra 5000 lights and now they are all LEDs which has increased the intensity. The result is a brilliant show of red, white, green and blue lights.

Those who appreciate it often returning for a second look, and bringing others along.

"They can't believe what's been done, and can't believe I'm the muggins that actually does it," he said.

Across at Tukuku St, Claire Hodgman has decked her Tukuka St home in lights for the second time. This year husband Rob, an engineer in welding and fabrication, taught her to solder.

She estimates she has between 4000 and 5000 lights that outline the house, fence and trees along with a couple of reindeer.

"It's simple and pretty," she said.

An office assistant at an accounting firm, she declines to say how much the display has cost. "It's a secret, not even my husband knows."

She's just happy to see children, teens and older residents enjoy it.

"I do it because I enjoy bringing some happiness at Christmas," she said.

This year 14 homes are listed in the Harcourts Light Up Nelson event and people have until December 30 to vote for their favourite house online at

The lit up homes are: 16 Tukuka St; 17 Tory St; 30 Coster St; 637 Main Rd, Stoke; 189 Annesbrook Drive; Aspen Place, Stoke; 61 Saxton Rd; 11 Parkers Rd; 63 88 Valley Rd, Wakefield; 15 Telenius Rd, Brightwater; 4 Titoki Place, Motueka; 46 Glenaven Drive, Motueka; 8 Giblin St, Richmond; 452 Lower Queen St.