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Great Linford's Summerhayes raises thousands for Willen Hospice

Summerhayes, Great Linford
Image caption Residents of Great Linford have raised over £23,000 for Willen Hospice by lighting up their houses

A road in Milton Keynes, dubbed Christmas street, is set to reach a milestone of charity fundraising.

All 12 houses in Summerhayes, Great Linford, have been festooned with festive lights every Christmas for the past nine years, raising £23,000 for Willen Hospice.

This year, 20 houses have been lit up as other roads join in and they hope to top the £25,000 mark.

Residents said what started as fun is now something "really worthwhile".

The project began about 16 years ago when a couple of people in the cul-de-sac put lights in their windows.

The number of houses taking part has grown every year and the street has become a local tourist attraction.

'Out of control'

Resident Nick Menday said it first became "a bit of a competition" before it escalated.

"In the first two or three years we got secretive about it and all turned them on separately," he said.

"Then we thought, hang on, let's be more collaborative and it built up and got out of control.

"We just did it for the fun of it, then nine years ago we were persuaded to actually turn it into something really worthwhile."

Residents now organise an official switch-on ceremony on the first Saturday of December, which this year, was attended by over 300 people.

"It's fabulous when you look out of your window, particularly when you see children walking round," said Mr Menday.

"Some of the kids say this is Christmas Street which is lovely."

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