CHRISTMAS has well and truly arrived in one street where residents have once again come together to switch on their festive displays.

Residents of Nayling Road, Braintree, switched on their Christmas lights on Saturday evening to the delight of crowds who went along to enjoy the seasonal sight.

The event has become somewhat famous in the area and every year hundreds of people go along to see the spectacular displays on show outside houses along the road.

In total, 37 houses switched on their lights at the weekend but residents are hoping to match last year's total of 46 in the coming days and weeks.

Frank Petchey, who has lived in Nayling Road for 30 years and has taken part every year since arriving in 1988, said it was a show of community spirit.

He said: "We had a lot of people come along at the weekend but it tends to get busier the closer we get to Christmas and once the children are off school.

"I've got a village display outside my home, the children enjoy coming along and pressing the door bells and things pop-out so I keep it the same each year for them.

"I don't think I ever really expected it to grow as much as it has - we used to have to advertise it in the shop but we don't need to anymore because people just expect it."

Each year the homeowners collect money for charity with donation boxes on their displays, with individual houses collecting cash for different organisations.

Mr Petchey said: "We do it for the charities, it's good fun and people enjoy seeing the lights, but that's the main reason for it doing it.

"Last year I raised £884 with my display for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and that's the charity I'm supporting again this year."

The houses will be illuminated until Monday, December 31.

Anyone who plans to go along is advised to car share or walk due to limited parking.

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