longlanechristmaslights2014_004The spectacular Christmas lights display at Long Lane in Newport will return for 2015, thanks to support from Southern Vectis, Newport Parish Council and other Island businesses.

Terry and Sue Ramplin have been turning on their display of lights for some 14 years and last year raised a fantastic £4000 for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

Unfortunately, with the rising cost of electric and the need to replace lights on a regular basis, Terry previously told Island Echo that 2014 could well be have been the last year.

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Terry (L) with tour staff from Southern Vectis and Operations Manager Steve Roscoe (R)

Not wanting to see such a family-orientated festive attraction disappear, the Island’s bus operator Southern Vectis have stepped in with a £250 donation towards the running costs. In addition, Newport Parish Council have also donated £250, meaning the annual display is back for 2015 – it’s 15th year.

A 16ft Christmas tree has been gifted by Shide Trees and a marquee from Coast & Country.

The chosen charity to benefit from all donations is once again the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

Southern Vectis operate a Christmas Lights tour each year that stops at the Long Lane display and their General Manager, Matt Kitchin, says it is a firm favourite:

“Lots of people return to us for the tour year after year – and this particular display is a huge favourite among our passengers.

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“We know just how much effort and resources it takes for Terry to transform his home into one of the island’s most impressive displays, so we’re pleased to be making a donation to help fund replacements for some of the thousands of bulbs that make these illuminations so spectacular.

“People come from far and wide to Long Lane every Christmas – and Terry uses his lights to fundraise for the Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance. A very worthy cause.

“Here’s hoping for a successful 2015 festive season for all concerned.”

longlanechristmaslightsPreparations for this year’s display are in full swing with Terry now spending most days sorting, arranging and hanging up the lights. Once they are switched on, Terry is out in all weathers every day in the run up to Christmas.

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This year’s big switch on will take place on Saturday 28th November at 19:00 with the Vectis Corps of Drums entertaining the crowds. Mulled wine and mince pies will be available, supplied by Hamiltons Food.

The more help the merrier is the continuing message from Terry, who is asking businesses and individuals to donate towards the cost of putting on the display and, where possible, donate working but unwanted (or brand new!) Christmas lights.

Terry said:

“It’s a massive challenge to keep the display going each year – but I know how many people look forward to visiting. They come from all over the world to see us and I don’t want to let them down.

“I’m delighted that Southern Vectis has come on board. It means I’m able to provide an extra special display – and hopefully raise more than ever for the air ambulance this year.”

Anyone able to support the festive event through a donation or services is asked to contact Terry on 01983 526089.

Watch last year’s switch on below…


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