Search

Hundreds descend on sleepy Dagenham street for charity Christmas lights switch-on

PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 December 2018

Andy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNab

Andy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNab

Andy McNab

Hundreds flocked to a sleepy Dagenham cul-de-sac on Sunday for a charity Christmas lights switch-on.

Andy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNabAndy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNab

An estimated 1,800 people watched former West Ham defender Steve Potts put Lowry Road in the spotlight by opening the dazzling display featuring superheroes, Disney princesses and more than 40,000 light bulbs.

The spectacle was down to Andy McNab, 51, who has roped in family, friends and neighbours since 2000 to line the street with light almost every December.

Each year, he told the Post, the show grows “bigger and better”, with a “massive array” of characters now adorning a block of six houses.

In the father-of-five’s latest creation, a homemade catamaran decked in Christmas lights floats on a sea of blue tarpaulin in the front garden, surrounded by life-size cutouts of characters from animated film Moana. There’s a starry backdrop and an enchanted fishing line lit up like the night’s sky.

Andy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNabAndy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNab

A stroll down the pavement passes crimefighters the Hulk, Captain America and Black Widow, all from Marvel comicbook crimefighters the Avengers, the cast of Disney’s Frozen and classic cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse.

Lights hang down from the building, running along the picket fences and up a silverbirch tree in the centre.

“In the tree alone there are 6,000 lights,” said Andy.

He estimated “at least” 40,000 lights in the display altogether — adding, “maybe a little bit less, maybe a little more, I don’t know. I can’t really count them.”

Andy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNabAndy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNab

Planning for each display begins in February, when Andy sketches the setup. Displays are then built at go up piece by piece over the months.

About 20 people worked to produce this year’s show, including Grant Mitchell, of Champs Tattoo Parlour in Green Lane, who made the models.

Their efforts are in aid of child burn victims at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford.

Helpers collect donations and sell tickets for the hospital’s Children’s Burns Club, with prizes announced in the New Year. There’s even a wishing well for well-wishers wishing to spare some change.

Andy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNabAndy's dazzling display in Lowry Road, Dagenham. Picture: Andy McNab

“We just thought we’d try and help them again this year,” said Andy.

The displays have raised £24,000 for the Club, he estimates.

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories

Yesterday, 16:00

Essex club had won four in a row prior to Saturday’s game, compared to Shaymen’s solitary league victory in 14 matches

Yesterday, 19:00

Part of a £1 million donation pot was handed to charities in Barking and Dagenham on Friday at Britain’s largest mosque.

Yesterday, 14:00

May & Baker manager Micky Wetherall says his side showed character to win 3-2 against Benfleet in a game of two halves.

Yesterday, 17:00

Local paper journalists may not get to review West End musicals or critique Michelin star restaurants – but they do get to enjoy the festive spectacle that is the local pantomime.

Yesterday, 12:00

Barking boss Justin Gardner says his side came out firing in the first-half of their 2-1 win over in-form Grays Athletic – despite a late line-up reshuffle.

Super Snodgrass is loving every miuute with the Hammers

Yesterday, 16:00

A community centre in Dagenham has been given a £360,000 funding boost.

Yesterday, 11:00

Gale Street club were unable to trouble the scorers for the first time this term on Saturday

PROMOTED CONTENT

The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Are you aged over 25 and an unpaid carer? If you want to return to employment but need practical help and support to get there, Working for Carers can help.

Everest Estates stress-free service guarantees a fixed income for your East London or Essex property every month, even if no one is currently living there. Here they talk about the scheme and explain how it can help you dodge common letting headaches.

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now