Bernie’s lights still going strong

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Bernie Jackson of Whiting Bay has once again festooned his house with Christmas illuminations to the delight of visitors and locals who flock to see the decorations every year.

Collecting on behalf of the Whiting Bay children’s Christmas party this year with a voluntary donation box, Bernie has raised thousands of pounds over the past 29 years by those who appreciate and bring their children to see the annual display.

While adding to his collection of inflatable snowmen, Santas, reindeer, trees and sleighs, Bernie also has some decorations that have endured over the years, including an illuminated blue star which is one of the decorations he first used 29 years ago.

Bernie said: ‘ I know I say this every year, but at 76 my days of climbing the ladder and spending three days setting it all up are coming to a close. One of my three sons usually helps with the set-up, but I am seriously considering making next year my last display. My 30th display might be my biggest but also my last.’

The lights, in Montrose Terrace, Whiting Bay, are switched on at sunset and are illuminated until around 9pm every evening.

Co-op set up Santa’s grotto

Meanwhile, Brodick Co-op worker Laura McLaren Mcallister and friend Gemma Bennett have transformed the Cosy Corner community room at the store into a Santa’s grotto for children to visit in the run up to Christmas.

Complete with a large decorated tree, an improvised fireplace, presents, decorations and seating, the grotto also features a life size Santa sitting in the corner of the room.

Managers and staff at the store have also joined in the fun and contributed to the grotto with small festive touches of their own including Christmas crackers, juice and nibbles.

Parents and children are welcome to pop into the room and have a look and if they are lucky, there might even be a present for them, delivered by a Co-op member of staff on behalf of Santa.

Bernie Jackson switches on his inflatable decorations and ensures the illuminations are working correctly.

Bernie Jackson switches on his inflatable decorations and ensures the illuminations are working correctly. 01_B51Bernie01

Catherine Smith gets into the festive mood by joining Santa in his grotto at Brodick Co-op. 01_B51grotto01