A Sheffield man is on a mission to bring festive cheer to the city with a Christmas light display unlike any other.
John Berry, aged 36, of New Cross Way, Woodhouse, has been working on the magical masterpiece for months, so far featuring 10 handmade Christmas trees and around 4,000 lights with more to be added.
The father-of-five found his love for the festive season at an early age, as one of 11 children, with a mum who, he says would always celebrate Christmas and New Year with a massive party.
Now, with his own children, each year he aims to bring festive cheer to both his family and those around with and eye catching display bound to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.
And, this year his display will be even bigger and better, having moved to a bigger house giving him even more space for the display.
John moved to the area with his wife Michelle, and children Lukas, aged 9, Leanne, 13, Abbygale, 14, Hayley-Sue, 15 and 17-year-old Warren, three months ago, and since then has been searching for festive ideas.
He said: “We always turn the lights on on the 30th, but this year that is my daughters 16th birthday, so we will invite everyone to come see them on December 1 for the big reveal. It’s to start getting everyone in the Christmas spirit. Christmas is 100 per cent my favourite holiday, it’s about passing the cheer on.
“With all the stabbings that have happened in Sheffield recently I wanted to give people something to smile about.”
John has been busy creating items for the display, recycling scraps of wood and MDF and turning them into the festive scene.
He added: ”We’ve got 4,000 lights so far, but there will be around 8,000 when it is done. Last year we only had around 3,000 up, because it was a small house so I couldn’t do much.
“I have built a snowman which is around seven and a half feet tall, that’s made from MDF.
“People have helped out by passing me screws and bits of wire, but I’ve built it all myself. I will also be making a 6ft Santa which I’ll get started this weekend. It’s actually got a Paper mache head that I had last year and I’ll be building the body.
“The ten Christmas trees have also all been made from scraps of wood. Cost wise, it’s just using stuff out of skips, I’ve got a friend who works in construction, so its about recycling.
“I want to show people that you don’t need to be a multimillionaire to do things like this.”
John is currently starting his own window-cleaning business, but it is only in its early days so he has time on his hands to get the display finished.
“It’s for my kids,” he added. “I’ve worked near enough all my life, and we’ve struggled at times I’ll admit like anyone has, but I wanted to show my kids its not all about the presents at Christmas.
“I want to make someone smile and bring some cheer to their day, they do say a good deed a day keeps the doctor away.”
Since sharing a preview of the lights on Facebook, John says he has received lots of positive comments.
And, once Christmas is over he’ll be thinking of how to top it for next year – with plans of adding a sleigh and reindeer, themed areas, and extending the display to include his back garden too.
John is inviting people to come along to see the display from December 1, at 19 New Cross Way, Woodhouse, S13 7GL.