David the volts, if you please!
And so, at exactly 4.30pm as promised, the timers click into action to give Sutton Coldfield an extra golden shot in the twilight zone.
Designed to make everyone’s Christmas truly merry and bright despite the coronavirus crisis, the timing of David Nutt’s charity-fundraising 2020 switch-on is conducted with Swiss-style precision.
The magical display in Lowercroft Way, Four Oaks, is complemented with the added bang of £400-worth of fireworks being electronically fired into the Faraday night sky, which is feaured in the above video.
As befits a retired city jeweller, David’s twinkling chains of lights are the LED equivalent of diamond necklaces being every girl’s best friend.
Voted the UK’s Best Small Outdoor Display in 2019, David’s display is back bigger, better and brighter than ever before after four weeks’ work to set it all up.
David’s glittering gems are not for private dinner parties, but are on public display – draped over the rooftop gutters and garden fence in support of the cast of main characters gathered together on the front lawn.
Everything from Father Christmas to snowmen, gnomes, reindeer, polar bears, penguins and illuminated walking sticks and ‘presents’ are in position now in the garden of Edison, just begging to be shared on that global social media channel, “Watt’s App”.
Taken as a whole, these lights are like the festive jewels of the local crown – wholly appreciated by switched-on neighbours even though though David admits the attraction risks bringing traffic jams to an otherwise quiet cul-de-sac.
To help to spread out the numbers of visitors at the end of this cruel, socially-distanced year, there’s no need to rush over – the lights will be sparkling every evening until New Year’s Eve.
Everyone should then have amp-le opportunity to see them without breaking their coronavirus bubble for a bauble.
Always assuming of course that the words to a classic AC/DC song hold true: “Let there be light… and there was light.”
Seconds after his 2020 switch-on has activated automatically without a hitch, David chuckles at the mere thought of a mishap.
“There’s always the thought ‘Is it going to work?’,” he says.
“But we’ve been very lucky, everything is working fine and nothing has packed up on me because that is what does happen.
“They can come on and all of a sudden something else goes off.
“We’ve been doing this for 30 years. We started off very small with just a few bits and pieces and then got bigger and bigger.
“We’ve got so well known now we had 350-400 people turn up last year on the opening night.
“Other people then come, drive past, take photographs and it cheers everybody up.
“I think we’ve had a bad year this year so it would be nice to see smiles on kids’ faces and their parents, too.”
To date David’s charity fundraising spectacle has now raised more than £10,000 for various charities.
Having battled leukaemia in recent years and had a stem cell transplant in April 2019, that total includes more than £7,500 for the benefit of Ward 19 at Heartlands Hospital, a place he knows inside out.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, David knew he couldn’t be a coronavirus circuit breaker and ask for a crowd to turn up on his doorstep this year.
So BirminghamLive broadcast this year’s unannounced launch live on Facebook here
Just three hours later the extravaganza – which came complete with £400 worth of electronically launched fireworks – our video had already had 60,000 views.
That’s potentially great news for David because the lights will this year be raising money for University Hospitals Birmingham Charity in a bid to bring some festive cheer across its wards.
End of an era
Sadly, the Santastic annual event is also set to be the Nutts’ last.
David has decided to bring the curtain down on his winter hobby after 30 years’ of dazzling delights.
The 70-year-old livewire and his wife Sandy have set their hearts on moving north of Lichfield to be closer to son Sam, a lorry tyre rescue technician who braves high speed motorway traffic to rescue stranded truckers when he’s not putting up fairy lights.
With brother Matthew away with the Army, 26-year-old Sam is wondering whether to continue the tradition at his own house from next year, having never known Christmas without a garden full of lights.
But for now, until December 31, the front lawn of mum and dad’s house will be welcoming donations one more time from anyone who just happens to be passing.
There’s even a QR code next to the pavement to make donations super easy.
If you live too far away, but are impressed with David’s ability to generate cash for charities, you can log on to his JustGiving page at this address here
For added visual depth, four Christmas trees donated for the cause have even been illuminated from underneath this year to give the garden an added glow worth of a Hollywood film set.
Indeed, by the time genial David finishes explaining all about his snow machine and how the liquid needed to produce the flaky white stuff works, not forgetting the switches and electrical systems behind the lights a other tricks of his ‘trade’, you begin to wonder if he’s not Back to the Future’s Doc Brown in disguise.
Either that or he could be The Nutt-y Professor in a beanie hat.
And as for his electricity bill… David says he’ll just have to national grid and bear it.
“I’ve got a Hive system and I just don’t look at it,” he smiles.
“I’ll wait til the bill comes in January!”
David and Sam will be hosting their own launch on Facebook Live after 5pm on Saturday, November 28 via their Facebook page ‘The Nutts Christmas Lights 2020’.