Christmas lights will shine despite roadworks thwarting switch-on

Photo Ian Robinson
The Tipping Family Christmas lights switch at their home on Valentines Meadow in Cottam
Photo Ian Robinson The Tipping Family Christmas lights switch at their home on Valentines Meadow in Cottam
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Roadworks have put a dampner on a Christmas light spectacular which raises thousands for charity.

Since 2012, the Tipping family of Cottam have decorated their house in Valentines Meadow with a multitude of lights, fundraising for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, Cardiac Risk in the Young, Headway and Derian House.

Charity Christmas house lights switch-on in Cottam.  Pictured are Mark and Nicola Tipping.

Charity Christmas house lights switch-on in Cottam. Pictured are Mark and Nicola Tipping.

So far more than £44,000 has been raised and Mark and wife Nicola have been recognised with British Citizen Awards and the Prime Minister’s Point of Light award for their efforts.

But this year, roadworks around their home means that the switch on event cannot take place.

Mark, 50, said: “We started off four years ago with about 400 people coming to the switch on, and then its grown and grown to last year getting between 2,000 and 2,500.

“Because of the numbers we have to get Cottam Way closed off, but this year it’s a diversion route for Hoyles Lane being closed. Because of the diversion traffic the council just couldn’t close the road for five hours, and we get that.

“We usually only do the switch on every other year anyway, and we weren’t due to do it this time, but we were debating it. This has made our minds up for us, but the charities won’t miss out because we’ll still have the lights.”

In 2014, a switch on event by the couple and their three sons Sam, Joe, and Isaac, involved Preston boxer Scott Fitzgerald, Banks Brass Band, three PNE players and the club’s mascot Deepdale Duck. They also let off £1,400 of fireworks to kick the festivities off with a bang.

This year’s display will be switched on on the last Sunday before December, with preparations beginning three weeks before. After Christmas, Mark will spend three or four days packing everything away.