A house covered in Christmas decorations has been praised as "absolutely fabulous" by a visitor as its decorator revealed an ongoing battle with cancer.

Peter Elliot, 73, who has decorated 'The Christmas House' in Noak Hill for more than 40 years, said he has found the task very hard since a 2020 leukaemia diagnosis, but "went for it this year."

Peter, who lives with his wife Lesley Haylett, 63, said he has continued to do it since he does not want to let people down, especially those elderly in the area.

On Sunday (December 3) the lights were switched on.

"I have been ill for three years with leukaemia," Peter said. "I have found it very hard to do, but I went for it this year.

"Since 2020 I've had lots of stuff, I've had a stroke but I still went out and did it," he added. "Last year I was just so drained, and had no energy but this year I felt better."

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Lesley, a hairdresser, said it started when Peter used to put a few lights outside the house and got a letter from an elderly neighbour who said it brightened up her Christmas since she was very lonely.

She praised Peter for his strength in continuing to put up the lights despite his cancer diagnosis and other problems.

"He has been battling, but he just likes to put the lights up for the kids," Lesley said.

Lesley added that all the money raised from the lights display goes to Great Ormond Street Hospital, a cause close their hearts as they have a granddaughter who had open heart surgery.

"My daughter is [also] disabled and has a prosthetic eye," she said. "We like to spread it around because charities need support."

Diana Speller, a retired Gidea Park resident of 41 years, visited on Sunday and said it was amazing.

"I can't go out very much, I'm not very well myself so my son took me," Diana said.

"There were so many families in the pouring rain - it was absolutely fabulous," she added.

The mascots for the display were provided by Ricknroll Mascots, a Havering-based children's entertainer.