Light relief in a dark year as Cottam family prepares to switch on its much loved Christmas lights display

The countdown has begun to a Cottam family’s annual Christmas lights switch-on tomorrow evening.

Tuesday, 1st December 2020, 3:45 pm
The Tippings family outside their lit up home

The Tippings have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity through their hugely popular tradition - now in its ninth year.

Much loved and eagerly awaited by the village, hundreds of people have turned up for the lighting up ceremony in the past.

Sadly tomorrow, there will be no ceremony as such due to coronavirus safety issues.

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PICTURE GALLERY>> The Tipping family's annual Christmas light show in Cottam is better than ever this yearLast year, the family - Mark, 55, his wife Nicola, 43 and their children Sam, 15, Joe, 12, and 11-year-old Isaac, switched on the lights together.

But this year, they don’t want a huge turn out and after seeking police advice are keeping it a low key switch-on - though folk will be able to go along and see the lights lit up at a safe social distance.

The Tippings say, though, they want 2020 - this year’s special feature is a nativity scene - to be the best yet.

And they have urged villagers to decorate their own houses for the ‘help make Cottam sparkle’ campaign. Money raised from that campaign and the Tippings’ own event will go towards:

Derian House children’s hospice; Jordan Grant 18 (CRY); Chris Rand Fan Club (Rosemere Cancer Foundation); and Headway Chorley and Preston brain injury.

Last year’s family display, attended by around 2,000 people on opening night, raised more than £14,000 for charity. It brought the total to more than £81,000 over the previous eight years.

Mark said: “We’re just going to put them on this year. I don’t know what time it will be, but if I get home from work I’ll put them on at 4pm and if people come they will be on.

“It’s a pity really because it’s such a really good atmosphere, with people bringing bottles of champagne.

“We get thousands from all over the county.”

He added: “It’s been such a difficult year for everybody. Charities have missed out on so much funds they need, we want to raise as much as we can.”