Community rallies to bring back Wiltshire man's Christmas lights display

  • Watch Ulani Seaman's report here

Joe Hughes had been hosting a festive charity display in Devizes for 26 years, but the pandemic and his wife's health put a stop to the tradition in 2019.

The people of Devizes weren't sure whether they'd see Joe's lights again but with the help of family friends, Angela and Paula, the display is back and better than ever.

One community member said: "We've [come to see the lights] most years haven't we - popped round in the car and had a look."

Another said: "It's really really lovely that Joe puts himself out there to do this every year."

Joe is "overwhelmed" by how the community has helped him put the light display on. Credit: ITV News

But 2023 marks the first switch-on for Joe in four years. His wife, Jenny, had become poorly and nobody knew whether they’d see his display again

But a little help from friend Ange and charity fundraiser Paula gave him the encouragement he needed to put the display back on.

Joe said: "What I like really, is seeing people coming up and down and saying how looks beautiful this year, and I just thought I'll carry on then, as long as I can."

Over the years Joe has received hundreds of thank you letters from various charities, organisations, and even the House of Commons for his lights.

People come to see the lights. Credit: ITV News

This year’s display is in aid of the charity Paula knits for - The Give a Duck Foundation - which provides chemotherapy support toys to children with cancer.

A spokesperson for the charity said: "Paula has really gone above and beyond, which is just amazing."

Joe says coming back for such a great cause is worth it, and the turnout this year has been better than ever before.

Joe said: "I just can't believe it. How it's come on and everyone's helped put it on for me. I felt a bit overwhelmed how nice it all is.