Christmas has made a comeback in one village amid coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 16:17 02 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:17 02 April 2020
For one Norfolk village Christmas does not come but once a year.
Andrew Smith, from Brooke, has decorated his front garden with festive fairy lights - despite April just beginning.
The 53-year-old has dusted off the lights, which are draped around a rowan and cherry tree, to bring a smile to people’s faces during coronavirus.
They are turned on every night when it becomes dark and Mr Smith, a building control surveyor, has pledged to carry on until “people become bored of them”.
The idea came from a Facebook post by a woman in Cambridgeshire who had decided to dig out her yuletide lights to spread some cheer amid the pandemic.
The post inspired Mr Smith, who has lived in Brooke for 19 years, to follow her lead.
He said: “As much as I would like to claim credit for it I spotted it on social media and I thought why not got for it - in for a penny in for a pound. It is all for a bit of a laugh and I just wanted to bring some lightheartedness during this horrible time.
“At the moment, there is nothing but bad news and it seems like there is just death tolls in the news and people are just focused on the negatives. This is defiance against the virus and I hope it puts a smile on people’s faces.”
The effect has already rubbed off on his wife, a sister at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
Mr Smith added: “My wife is currently working so it is quite nice to watch her coming back from her shift and seeing the lights glowing. Perhaps I could start a trend - get your lights up for the NHS.
“I’ve had a good response from the local Facebook group and from people in the village so I hope it is helping to cheer people up.”
Mr Smith, who decks out his house every Christmas, has also urged his neighbour to do the same.
He added: “In December me and my neighbour normally have a bit of a Northern Lights thing going on. I asked them if they were interested in also putting on lights now and they were up for it so we both bunged them on.”
However, Mr Smith, a father-of-four, said his youngest child was confused by the lights.
He added: “All my children love it although my smallest thinks it is Christmas.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Beccles and Bungay Journal. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.