Mick and Margaret French from Carharrack near Redruth have described their Christmas electricity bill as ‘horrendous’ but they say powering their festive light display is worth every penny.

They claim the cost is far outweighed by the looks on the faces of visiting children and the fact they use the event to raise money for the RNLI in Cornwall. This year Mick and Margaret will turn on their yuletide display at 7pm on Saturday 30 November. They’ll be joined by RNLI mascot Stormy Stan and the Carharrack and St Day Band and with sweets for the children and wine and mince pies for the adults, night one of the display promises to be a treat for one and all.

Mick, who has been hosting his festive display for 16 years now, has raised an amazing £1,500 for the charity that saves lives at sea with his Christmas lights and says that’s not bad going as they live in a cul-de-sac.

"We’re a bit tucked away which means we don’t tend to get people passing by but word goes round and we put posters up reminding people of our annual display.

"It is a costly business, but it’s all so worthwhile when you see the look on people’s faces and hear the donations going in to the RNLI collecting box. I hope lots of folk will join us for the big switch on."

Mick and Margaret are long standing RNLI supporters and this year alone Mick has raised £3,200 at events where he has put his model lifeboats on display.

Guy Botterill from the RNLI said people like Mick and Margaret are priceless.

He said: "It costs millions to run a charity like ours each year and all of this through public donations so people like Mick and Margaret are very precious to us.

"They are also greatly appreciated by our volunteer lifeboat crews around Cornwall who will be on call 24/7 right over Christmas and the New Year. I’d like to thank them for their generosity and hard work and wish them every success with the display."

As a mark of respect, the lights will be switched off for an hour at 8pm on 19 December on the anniversary of the loss of the Penlee lifeboat and her crew.

Mick and Margaret French live at 20, Park Stenak, Carharrack, Redruth TR16 5SL. Their festive light display will be on between 5pm and 10pm every night from 30 November until Twelfth Night.