An unassuming residential street in Stourbridge in England's West Midlands, Leonard Road undergoes an amazing transformation every Christmas season.

More than 30 households in the street spend months adorning their house and garden with thousands of fairy lights and other decorations ready for the big switch-on at the start of December.

The ceremony, attended by a celebrity and media coverage, consists of a firework display and radio roadshow.


The custom began in 1977 when Harry and Glenis Shaw decked their house out to amuse their Down's Syndrome daughter, Rachel. During the following quarter-century, they have convinced more and more neighbours to join in the fun; even beginning a competition to see who could put on the best display.

Since the late 1990s, the event has also had a fundraising element with volunteers along the street collecting for the local air-ambulance fund. The 2001 display comprised of 30 homes and raised £52,000 (around $83,000) for the fund.

The event is now playfully dubbed Stourbridge Illuminations.

N52°27'16" W2°10'17" WGS 84


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