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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 18:01 GMT
Christmas open house for charity
Christmas lights at night (Pic by Anna Wallace)
The house is best seen at night when the lights are on
More than 150 people queued to get into a terraced house after a couple spent weeks decorating it for Christmas.

Alan North from Bettws in Newport started hanging the 5,000 lights at the house in October.

He and his wife Rene also decorate the inside of their home in Medlock Crescent and open it to the public in aid of charity.

Mr North said: "It's a busy time of the year for us, but it is pretty expensive with the electricity bills."

Father Christmas decorations, nativity scenes and snowmen adorn the house.

The couple have attached thousands of colourful lights to every part of the outside of their home.

They have even started to use the house next door for some of their displays.

Their garage houses an almost life-size nativity scene and tinsel, glitter and baubles are hung along the hall.

But their crowning glory is their front room with nearly every inch covered in some festive memorabilia.

Alan North
Alan North spends weeks putting up and taking down the decorations

"We've been doing this for about six years now," explained Mr North.

"I start putting the decorations up in early October and this year we had our opening night on 20 November.

"There must have been about 150 people who came through the door that night.

"They were queuing up the path and onto the pavement to come and see.

"We had the switch on at about a quarter to seven but there were people waiting well before six," he explained.

Every night, the couple greet dozens of people who come along to see their displays.

"We do it all for charity," said Mrs North.

"This year it is for Cancer Research UK and we've already filled up one bucket with cash."

Christmas decorations on the house during the daytime
The house has become a visitor attraction in Newport

As people visit their home, they are asked to donate some money into the sealed buckets which are then given to the charity.

"It takes an awful long time to get everything up but it is worth it when you see the kids faces," said Mr North.

"Two little girls burst into tears when they came here because they were so overwhelmed with everything.

"And we've got some children coming back night after night to see it.

"Next year we are going to buy a generator to run things off.

"And we've already started buying some of the displays for next year," he added.

The couple close their doors to visitors at about 2100 GMT on Christmas Eve and will take down their decorations after Twelfth Night to be stored from floor to ceiling in their spare bedroom.

Until then, Mr North reaches for his ladder daily to repair any blown bulbs and check things are in place before the evening's switch on.




SEE ALSO
Grown-ups take over nativity play
07 Dec 06 |  North West Wales
Festival revives Celtic Christmas
02 Dec 06 |  North East Wales

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