10:30AM, Tuesday 13 December 2016
For the past five years a 44-year-old father-of-two from Burnham has brought festive cheer to his street with a spectacular Christmas lights display.
Every year, Chris Herring, a mobile concrete pump driver, launches his flamboyant festive display with a switch-on party for his neighbours outside his home in Coalmans Way.
This year’s party on Friday, December 2 was attended by more than 50 people and for the first time featured a surprise firework display after a countdown.
At the family’s annual parties, Chris’ wife Toni puts on food and drinks for the neighbourhood.
He said: “It’s really nice. We’re quite a close knit street. Everyone brings their kids round, it's really good." added Chris.
He says a four-year-old girl on his road calls him 'the light master.'
The Christmas fanatic, who has put on a lavish display at his previous Burnham homes, inherited his love of lights from his dad John, who did the same.
When John passed away 14-years-ago Chris was keen to continue his father’s legacy.
The Burnham born father added: “Every year it’s getting bigger and bigger.
"I might have to go onto the neighbours," he joked.
"It’s just about me and my dad really, that’s what it’s about, and spreading Christmas joy."
The driver spent £100 on the firework display and £509 on this year’s lights, which he used along with older ones.
The display includes lit up models of reindeer on the driveway, snowmen standing by the door and a decorated Christmas tree on the side.
Chris buys most of his lights during the summer to save money and says running them for eight hours a day costs him a surprisingly low sum of £15 a week.
He starts putting up lights from the end of October because he works long hours, and still finds himself making finishing touches a few days before the big switch on.
"My wife said to me, you should start earlier, I say I started in October, I can’t start much earlier," he joked.
Once he is done, Chris helps his neighbours put up their lights.
He added: "It’s not about competition; they know I do it for the love of it."
The Herring’s house has gained plenty of attention within the local community with emergency service crews and residents stopping to take photos.
Sadly Chris’ 13-year-old son Leo and 18-year-old daughter Elise are less keen to follow in their father’s footsteps.
"I said to my son last year, ‘when I die, do you want to carry on?’ and he said ‘dad I’ve got no interest in it."
But Chris hopes his son will eventually come around.
He added: "He has asked to come up the ladder, and I say ‘we’ll see.'"
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