Family’s heartache over Christmas lights rampage

The Hoylands Xmas lights and (below) how the railings looked after the theft overnight on Wednesday.

The Hoylands Xmas lights and (below) how the railings looked after the theft overnight on Wednesday.

It used to be the brightest house on the street and attracted admiring glances from neighbours and passersby – until someone stole its Christmas sparkle.

For the last 10 years, Neville and Maureen Hoyland proudly lit up their home, on Taybank Avenue, South Shore, each Christmas.

But this year their festive spirit has been dampened after £500 of lighting was taken from outside their house.

Mr Hoyland, 74, said: “The sad thing about it is we are near a school and a lot of people come with their kids through this way as a short cut and they all stop and enjoy the decorations.

“We have got grandchildren – they are 15 and 18 now – who have grown up with them every year.

“They still come round and have Christmas dinner here.

“The lights are for our pleasure and other people’s pleasure too.”

The couple woke up on Wednesday to discover the elaborate decorations had disappeared, despite being securely fastened to their property.

They said it was disappointing someone would take away people’s festive cheer just to make a quick profit.

Mr Hoyland added: “The decorations have been going up for the last 10 years and we have never had any trouble.

“It is a quiet, lovely area here, with a lot of retired people, so you just don’t expect it.”

As well as the cost of replacing the lights, he said it was annoying to have put in the effort to brighten up the home for the festive season and only get to enjoy them for two weeks.

He said: “It took me three and a half hours to put everything up and it would not have been a quick job to take them down – it’s very frustrating.

“They were really securely fastened to the wrought iron railings at the front of the house.

“I’m surprised they weren’t spotted because the litghting system here is brilliant and we have got one right in front of our house.

“I’ve also spoken to our milkman, who delivers at 2am, and he said the decorations were still up then.”

The matter has been reported to police.


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