Martha-Lee Taarnby has been setting up her Christmas lights in the front of her Silkstone home for 21 years.
Martha-Lee Taarnby has been setting up her Christmas lights in the front of her Silkstone home for 21 years. Inga Williams

Why Martha lights up our lives

PURE joy is written on the faces of children every time they come back to experience Martha Taarnby's winter wonderland - smack bang in the middle of sweltering Ipswich.

It's the feeling Martha gets from making people of all ages happy that has kept her coming back for more.

This year is the 21st year running that she has taken part in the Ipswich City Christmas Lights competition.

Every year she spends about two months carefully preparing up to 5000 lights, along with a vast array of angels, penguins, reindeer and even a train.

"I've been a Christmas fanatic since I was a girl," Mrs Taarnby said.

"My kids talked me into it initially and it has just skyrocketed from there.

"Putting it all together is a big job - bigger now because my husband passed away four-and-a-half years ago.

 

Martha-Lee Taarnby has been setting up her Christmas lights in the front of her Silkstone home for 21 years.
Martha-Lee Taarnby has been setting up her Christmas lights in the front of her Silkstone home for 21 years. Inga Williams

"People are amazed that I still do it."

Martha's family and friends now chip in and help with the effort to brighten up Christmas.

Her home display on Auld St, Silkstone, was officially switched on December 4, making it an attraction for kids big and small from across Ipswich.

"I don't do it for prizes, I do it for the kids and the adults - from babies in arms to the old person in a wheel chair - to see the expressions on their faces," she said.

Entries have been called for this year's Ipswich City Christmas Lights, presented by the QT, Channel 9 and River 949.

There are four categories this year: Ipswich-wide winner; best new entrant; People's Choice; and Best Street.

All entrants are asked to submit a photograph of their displays by December 11.

Check out the QT next week for the full list of Christmas Lights locations across the city.



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