Christmas-mad Andy Broad's electryfying display lights up Cliffe Woods
Andy Broad dressed as
Father Christmas to switch on the lights outside his house in
by Nicola Jordan
When the Broad family moved to Medway this year, they were
determined to bring some festive cheer to their new home at
So they have decked the outside of their house in Cliffe Woods
with about £8,000 of lights, inflatable reindeer, polar bears,
penguins, snowmen and plenty more.
The annual show of colour and lights is a work of art that dad
Andy has built up over the past 20 years.
What started with a 2ft high Father Christmas has grown into a
menagerie of inflatable animals, a dozen Santas singing, climbing a
ladder and riding a motorbike and a hundred sets of fairy
Poor health recently has meant 49-year-old Andy can no
longer climb ladders and scaffolding to erect the festive show so
he has passed on his skills to son Aaron.
son Aaron is responsible for putting up the decorations at
their Cliffe Woods home
The 16-year-old has spent the past three months checking
electrics and designing the set.
They pair invited villagers to the grand switch-on outside
their semi-detached home in Reedham Close.
Almost 100 people turned up for the ceremony, performed by
dad-of-five Andy, who dressed as Father Christmas and handed out
sweets to children.
Andy and Michelle, 44, moved to Cliffe Woods from Orpington,
where Andy used to be a butcher, because they wanted "a quieter
life and better place to bring up the children".
What you can expect to see in the Broads' front garden:
Eight polar bears
Four large trains (one moving)
A 6ft tree
15 sets of rope lights
Up to 100 sets of fairy lights
Two Merry Christmas signs
Andy said: "Christmas has always been a big thing in our house
and, in fact the whole of December is pretty special because we
have three birthdays in our family.
"We put up flyers in the village, but we were not expecting that
many to turn out. They were saying they had never seen anything
"It's all about the children. To see the smiles on their faces
is better than winning the lottery for me."
Aaron, who is studying public services at MidKent College,
started putting the scaffolding up at the beginning of November
ready to put the festive extravaganza in place.
Andy said: "It's certainly worth the extra £50 or so on the
"We get our decorations from the Christmas shops that pop up
every year in the high street and on eBay and when Woolworths went
bust we stocked up on a lot there."
Michelle said: "It's fantastic, the best we've done so far. We
have a little boy living next door who absolutely loves it. It's
certainly a good way of getting to know your neighbours."
The family have put collection boxes out and proceeds will go to
the Kent Air Ambulance.
Have you seen a better Christmas lights display than the
Broads'? Email pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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