Setting up the lights

3 Sefton Villas without lightsThe job starts months before-hand. Possible new light fittings are checked out, plans of the display are drawn up, weekends set aside in the diary and orders placed for fixtures and fittings and a stock review is undertaken. Diagrams are drawn on blank pictures of the house, and checked for cable lengths, and against what we did in previous years.

nicholas on a ladderOnce that's out of the way the hard tasks of getting the lights out of the loft is scheduled. Once this happens the rest of the house fills up with boxes of all sizes, waiting for deployment. This year, November 19th was the start date. Final measurements were made of a couple of new items, and last minute adjustments when it was realised that although they would fit, moving the ladder about to get them there would be a problem. Over the course of a weekend many lights are tested and fitted - in careful order so that other lights which go up later can still be fitted - for example, care is taken to ensure that the rope light fittings on the face of the house will not only look right with the icicles, but that they won't be in the way later.

The usual order is rope lights on the face, icicles, coloured light strings (working downwards) and then floor mounted items. After that the "parkland" area with reindeer and trees is completed on the grass in front.

Finallly, it's all tested, the collecting box is set up and that leads into a grand switching on event on the first Sunday in December.