Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 4°C


Ipswich: Is your house a Christmas cracker?

15:43 06 December 2012

Beryl and Derek Holden stand in front of their Creeting St. Mary home that was decorated by their son Stephen Holden and his girlfriend Denise Hales.

Beryl and Derek Holden stand in front of their Creeting St. Mary home that was decorated by their son Stephen Holden and his girlfriend Denise Hales.


IS your house a shining star or a dazzling delight?


Today, The Star is launching a competition to find the houses that are lighting up the street and spreading some festive fun this Christmas.

The Star has teamed up with retailer QD Stores to search for the best and brightest display in the town.

The lucky winner will receive £100 of vouchers to spend in any QD Store, Lathams or Cherry Lane Garden Centre.

QD Stores will also donate £50 to the winning home-owner’s chosen charity.

To help kick off the competition, we’ve visited three houses that are real Christmas crackers.

Mr and Mrs Page in Landseer Road have been dressing their house to impress for more than a decade.

The couple put on a spectacular show every year to raise money for the EACH Treehouse hospice.

Denise Hales, 35, from Needham Market and her partner Stephen Holden, 37, started their house-decorating tradition about six years ago.

Rather than doing up their own house, the couple decorate Stephen’s parents Beryl and Derek Holden’s house in St Mary’s Gardens, Creeting St Mary.

“It started on a small-scale,” Miss Hales said. “It’s grown as time has gone on and each year we try to do something different.”

Two years ago mechanic Mr Holden built a moving ski-slope with little animal figures and this year the decorations have a woodland theme.

The lights were officially switched on on Sunday night, but it took the pair three weekends of work to put them all up.

“We love Christmas and we just love it [the lights],” Miss Hales said.

The festive display is also raising money for EACH.

Miss Hales said the family chose to support EACH “purely because it’s a children’s charity and we feel that’s what Christmas is about”.

Each year the decorations manage to raise around £1,000 for the hospice in St Augustine’s Gardens.

Sheila and Bob Hales of Wherstead Road started their Christmas lights tradition when their daughter Melissa was ten.

Fifteen years on and Melissa has moved out, but Mr and Mrs Hales are keeping up the tradition.

“I’ve greatly added to it each year,” Mr Hales, 65, said. “But this could be the last year we do it, as we’re hoping to sell up next year.”

Semi-retired lorry driver Mr

Hales and wife Mrs Hales, 59, switched on the lights on Friday night, but the lights took Bob a week to put up.

“Every night there’s people

stopping to take photos,” he said. “We just do it to brighten the street up, I always think it looks so nice.

“A lot of people get a lot of pleasure out of it.”

To enter your house into the competition, send photos of your dazzling display to and or post your pictures to Dazzling Christmas Display Competition, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN. The deadline for entry is Wednesday, December 19.

The winner and top ten entries will feature in a special Star round-up of the Best Dressed Homes on Friday, December 28.

Related articles


1 comment

  • I love it when people make the effort to do this, very festive! Looks lovely, and children get excited to see them too

    Report this comment


    Thursday, December 6, 2012

On going work at Ipswich Station

Work on a near-£2million refurbishment of Ipswich railway station has started – and is set to continue until August next year.

The A134 at Assington.

This year’s death toll on Suffolk’s roads is now the worst since 2009 after six fatalities in the last 13 days, according to police figures.

Chloe Smith MP and Mark Pendlington.

The review into Network Rail’s investment proposals has been published – but there is little mention of any work to improve the main rail line between East Anglia and London.

Police at the scene of the robbery

Two men have been arrested in connection with a robbery at a One Stop convenience store in Claydon, Suffolk, on Sunday.

Kieron Dyer on I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. Photo:  ITV/PA Wire

Former Ipswich Town midfielder Kieron Dyer shocked fans tonight when he quit ITV programme I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here’, before making a U-turn decision.

Roundabout at Ropes Drive West where the traffic light trial has been taking place

A trial switch off of the traffic lights at Ropes Drive west in Kesgrave will be extended into the new year, following feedback from the public.

Don't leave it til the day before, start preparing your Christmas treats now

Does the mention of Christmas bring you out in a cold sweat? All that shopping, cooking and cleaning.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivers his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne said councils could put up council tax bills by an extra 2% if the increase was reserved to cover social care costs as he delivered his Autumn Statement today..

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

Police joined forces with partner agencies for the operation

People were arrested and vehicles seized in a series of police checks carried around in Ipswich and Thetford this week.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24