FOR the hundreds of visitors who descend every December it has become a Christmas tradition that literally lights up their festive season.
Eric Marshall has been illuminating his home in the North Yorkshire village of Bagby with a glittering Christmas lights show for more than two decades, raising thousands of pounds for good causes in the process.
But the pensioner, who celebrates his 73rd birthday today, admitted that he is now having to scale back the time he can leave the lights on amid the soaring cost of energy bills. Mr Marshall is now turning off the lights at least two hours earlier each evening.
He said: “It is costing more and more each year, but I will continue for as long as I can because the lights raise money for such good causes.
“But I am having to look at ways to save money, because it is proving to be so expensive. Everyone always talks about a white Christmas, but I am having to look to a greener Christmas by using LED lights and switching the lights off earlier.
“However, the display has become such a big part of Christmas not just for me but for the hundreds of visitors we get every year that I intend to try and carry on for a couple of years yet.”
Mr Marshall’s festive landmark in the village near Thirsk attracts visitors from across Yorkshire and the North of England, including Scarborough, Leeds and Sheffield as well as Durham, Middlesbrough and Newcastle. But he was left shocked when a film crew from Hollywood contacted him last year to send a film crew over from Los Angeles to capture footage of his Christmas lights display for a television documentary.