CHRISTMAS has come early on Sandford View in Newton Abbot after a couple transformed their house into a winter wonderland. 

From tonight, blizzards of ‘snow’ will also fall on the house in an event that’s become famous in the neighbourhood. 

‘We do a special snow event from December 12 until Christmas Eve. Each evening we make it snow outside our house from 6.30 until 7.15. 

‘People come from all over to see it and it’s a really lovely evening.’ 

Cheryl and Darren Meek have been putting on the light show since the Covid lockdowns, trying to maintain Christmas cheer during an incredibly difficult time for everyone. 

‘We’ve always put a few lights up, but it’s slowly got out of control,’ Cheryl explained. 

‘The first year we did it, everyone was locked down. It was sort of something we did almost out of boredom, but the feedback we got was incredible. It raised everyone’s moods and children loved it so it went from there really.’

On one year, about 300 people turned up to watch one of the shows. Cheryl said: ‘I literally hid behind the door, it was so scary. You know it’s a bit surreal to have that many people standing outside your house.’

The spectacular show doesn’t just look good, it does good as well. Given its popularity, Cheryl and Darren saw the potential in the lights to raise money for a good cause. 

‘People were saying that we’d had such a big impact, that we should probably raise some money. We now fundraise for both HITS and THAT food bank. We don’t take any money out of that for lights and snow, everything raised goes to the food banks.’

Over the last few years, the Meeks have raised thousands for the food banks. This year, their plans are more audacious than ever. 

‘We’re doing a raffle as well this year to try and boost the amount of money that we might raise. Prizes have been kindly donated by local businesses. 

‘We’ve also brought a new snow machine. We can point it in any direction we want, but we don’t want to be seen so we’ve also invested in a snowman outfit.’

The question that Darren and Cheryl always get asked is how much their energy bill is: ‘Our bill last year was less than £100 over what it usually is, which we think it’s a pretty good deal for the enjoyment we get out of it and the charities we can support.’

Raffle tickets can be purchased here.