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Charitable donations flooding in as hundreds head to Harold Hill home to see magical decorations

PUBLISHED: 13:21 14 December 2016 | UPDATED: 13:21 14 December 2016

The house in Wednesbury Road, Harold Hill.

The house in Wednesbury Road, Harold Hill.

Archant

A mechanically-minded dad has brought a community together after spending thousands of pounds on Christmas decorations for everyone to enjoy.

Sam and Colin French with grandchildren Tallulah and Teddy.Sam and Colin French with grandchildren Tallulah and Teddy.

The home in Wednesbury Road, Harold Hill, becomes a festive attraction every year, after weeks of preparation.

Married couple Sam and Colin French, started the annual tradition of putting up Christmas decorations 20 years ago.

“It’s something we have done since our kids were small so we could make this time of year a little more magical,” Sam said.

“We also wanted to do something for the community and raise money for those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

Scores of children and their parents visit the home every day during the festive period.Scores of children and their parents visit the home every day during the festive period.

“We get amazed reactions to the house, we have had people standing outside crying.”

Mechanical engineer Colin says it has taken the best part of six weeks to put everything together and has spent around £10,000 since he started turning their home into a Christmas funfair.

This year 2,500 lights have been added on the roof, to go with Santa’s grotto, a sleigh, reindeers and even Santa himself, waving hello in the top floor window.

“If it wasn’t for work then I might be able to get everything done in a week but it’s hard to find the time to get everything done,” Colin said.

Santa appearing at the window of the house.Santa appearing at the window of the house.

“I just love Christmas and seeing everyone outside enjoying themselves is fantastic.”

As many as 100 people can visit on any given night according to mum-of-three Sam.

She said: “The house brings the community together as you see children of all ages with their parents enjoying the decorations.

“I don’t know if we have inspired more people to put up Christmas decorations but everyone keeps saying how Harold Hill has the most decorations than any other area.

“It would be nice to think we have started making more people get into the Christmas spirit though.”

A donation box which sits outside the home is collecting money for toys to give to children who are in King George Hospital, Ilford, over Christmas.

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