Illuminations boss gives own house festive flavour

Head of Blackpool Illuminations Richard Ryan putting up his own Christmas lights display at his home.
Head of Blackpool Illuminations Richard Ryan putting up his own Christmas lights display at his home.
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NEIGHBOURS all over the Fylde coast vie with each other to see who can have the best festive lights display.

NEIGHBOURS all over the Fylde coast vie with each other to see who can have the best festive lights display.

But imagine going up against this guy.

Illuminations boss Richard Ryan has been busy putting up his Christmas decorations in the garden of his Blackpool home, a tradition he has maintained for the last 40 years.

He says: “When I started creating displays as a youngster with my parents back in Sheffield, nobody in this country was even doing festive lighting.

“Today, just about every superstore and bargain shop stocks sets of outdoor illuminations, but back then we had to go out and buy lamp holders and cabling and make the whole show ourselves.”

The front of Richard’s Marton house is adorned with modern LED lamps, although he maintains a traditional look in the back garden.

“These are what are better known as light bulbs, incandescent lamps of sturdy construction with a filament.

“They are an endangered species, and are going to be outlawed, but I am determined to keep them going each Christmas a long as I can.”

Pride of place goes to a set of lanterns which have graced Richard’s displays each 
December since 1973.

He says: “I saved up my pocket money as a teenager and bought a set of 10. Now just eight of them survive, but they will all be up again next year.”

Another pearl in Richard’s collection is an item from the Bromsgrove Institute of Lighting, a group of volunteers who made him an honorary member because of his services to 
lighting.

Richard is keen to stress nothing has been “borrowed” from the Lights department. Father Christmas at his doorway was a scrap item back in 1995, which cost him £5

And he even buys his own rolls of insulation tape...