York & North Yorkshire

Christmas 'octogenarian' to keep Bagby lights on

Eric Marshall and his Christmas light display Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Eric Marshall has been putting up the display for 30 years to raise money for his local church

A man who climbs on to the roof of his house to put up a fundraising Christmas light display says he will continue the tradition, despite turning 80.

Eric Marshall has been putting up the display for the past 30 years to raise money for his local church.

The lights, which take him a month to put up, attract hundreds of visitors to the house, in Bagby, near Thirsk, in North Yorkshire.

"I do everything... I'm up there on the roof putting them up," he said.

"My wife Jean keeps moaning at me that this will be the last year, but I don't take any notice."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The display, which now includes hundreds of lights, started with a Santa and sleigh

Mr Marshall, who turns 80 on Thursday, said: "I'll keep doing it for as long as I can, everybody seems to enjoy what I am doing. I'll go as long as I possibly can if my health holds out."

Talking about how it came about, he said: "It all started with Santa and a sleigh and all the children came to see, and then I got a few more and a few more and it's grown to this, what you can see today."

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption It has even featured in a television documentary

As well as attracting visitors, the display has featured in a television documentary about Christmas lights across Europe.

Mr Marshall also raises money for Macmillan Cancer Support with a model railway in his garden during the summer.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Mr Marshall says he will continue for as long as he is able to "as everybody seems to enjoy what I am doing"

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