In the quiet town of Westhoughton in West Lancashire, Paul Spann a Freemason and member of St Bartholomew with Brookfield Lodge No 5077 embarked on an extraordinary hobby in 2021, lighting up not only the night sky but also the hearts of the community.
Seeking a new pastime, Paul delved into the technical world of Xlights, a passion that would soon transform into something much bigger for a noble cause. Driven by a spirit of generosity, Paul covered his home with a dazzling array of lights, with mesmerizing symphonies of colours, flashing in sync to carefully chosen songs. This enchanting display has brought smiles to those who witnessed each show but has also helped him raise funds for Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley.
The heart-warming initiative began modestly in 2021, as people donated to witness the radiant spectacle, with all proceeds directed towards the hospice. A 15ft signing Christmas tree, two smaller trees, four hoops and eight candy canes adorned the driveway, each pulsating with vibrant hues under Paul’s meticulous programming. Elle Elf, the lead vocalist, and a host of backing singers illuminated the house, accompanied by stars and general lights that danced in harmony with the melodies.
But Paul’s creativity didn’t stop there. His garage was transformed into a canvas for a special LED screen, casting an array of effects that captivated viewers. The magnitude of Paul’s undertaking was no small feat and the costs associated with props and LEDs were substantial, making it a financially demanding hobby. However, every pound donated has gone directly to Derian House Children’s Hospice, underscoring the pure altruism driving this luminous endeavour.
In 2021 Paul’s show raised an impressive £3,060 for Derian House Children’s Hospice, setting the stage for future years. The 2022 Christmas show was even featured on BBC Northwest Tonight and raised a fantastic £2,415. This year Paul has set an ambitious target of £2,500 for his Christmas show as he continues to support Derian House and light up the local festive spirit at the same time.
Paul extended his charitable efforts to Halloween in 2022, where the spooky show raised £1,471 for Derian House Children’s Hospice with a further £1,000 raised in this year’s show.
The community response has been overwhelming, drawing spectators from Westhoughton, Bolton, Chorley, and Wigan. Families gather to witness the 35-minute spectacle of over 96,000 lights, all working together to deliver a superb show of lights and music.
With a heart-warming blend of creativity, technology and community spirit, Paul’s light shows have become a cherished annual tradition and continue to support Derian House Children’s Hospice with a huge total of £7,946 raised so far.
This year’s Christmas show is even more magical! Please feel free to come and watch a show (details on his JustGiving page) or to donate online to this wonderful show through Paul’s JustGiving page, click the link here ; – https://www.justgiving.com/page/hemley-close-lights-xmas-2023