Residents of a Stonehaven street are to carry on their tradition of raising money for charity with their Christmas lights.
This year, the cheerful scene in Malcolm’s Way, which sees several houses light up for the festive season, will be tinged with sadness, after original organiser, Tom Bruce, sadly lost his battle with cancer in August.
In the past, the Bruce family and their neighbours have collected money for various good causes, including for a kidney dialysis unit for Stonehaven.
This year, the group have decided to raise money for Friends of Anchor. Patricia explained that the charity make a real difference to those going through the trauma of dealing with cancer and blood diseases, and said that Tom would have liked to raise money for the charity.
Patricia has created a Facebook page to keep people updated, and said she has been overwhelmed by the response from friends and strangers alike.
She said: “I couldn’t believe how many lovely messages were left by people that I don’t even know. It was lovely - I cried the whole night after reading them. There are good people everywhere.
“It will be sad this year, but it is a positive thing to focus on. Bad things happen but we have to try and focus on the good. I am hoping our children will see the positives that can come from helping others.”
“I also couldn’t have managed without the help and support of all of my neighbours. This really is a team effort, they are all absolutely amazing.”
Mr Bruce first put up outdoor lights in 2009 which were enjoyed by family and friends. A year later some of the other homes in the street joined in, and by 2011 Tom had created a Christmas Tree display from scratch for their front garden. Tom’s wife, Patricia, said: “In 2012 it went bigger with more lights and new ideas. We decided to raise money for the Dialysis Unit in Stonehaven and we invited the street neighbours, with an invite through the mailbox. We raised over £400. In 2013 my husband Tom Bruce, always full of ideas, made our VW Camper Splity as the main display. In 2014, we had to go bigger than the previous years and more neighbours joined in, more lights, and we wanted to help the community and we chose again the Dialysis Unit in Stonehaven Hospital and we raised over £5000.”
The neighbours of Malcolms Way began to attract wider attention, and last year saw queues of visitors coming to admire their efforts and donate to their good causes at the same time.
Sadly Tom will not be there this year, but Patricia hopes that this year can be better than ever as a tribute to his memory.
She said: “My husband lost his battle against cancer in August and he won’t be able to put our lights up this year, however his light shines stronger than ever and we will make it bigger and brighter.
“He will not be here to do all the hard work, but he will be in every heart and sparkle of light, and watching over us from Heaven and proud of what we are going to make. I hope you can come and join us with the true spirit of Christmas and have a great time.”
There is also a Justgiving page, where people can contribute to the fundraising: https://www.justgiving.com/Malcomswaychristmaslights2015