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Christmas cancelled in Feock as family told they can't put up display that brought joy for 20 years


Rob Thompson
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Christmas cancelled in Feock as family told they can't put up display that brought joy for 20 years

Source - Cornwall News

By - Lisa Fletcher

Date 17-11-2021

A family say they are "wound-up" and "gobsmacked" at being told they are not to put on an extravagant Christmas light display that they have been doing for 20-odd years.

The Clifford family, who live on Elm Grove, in Feock, near Truro, have been at the helm of an impressive festive display that adorns their home and cul-de-sac each festive season, bringing families and children from all over Cornwall and beyond to see it.

1_LL_DCM_171121-Feock-Christmas-house_05

A scaled version of the famed Coca Cola truck, an almost life-size Santa sleigh and reindeer and a huge light-up castle are among some of the ideas they have brought to life since humble beginnings in 1996 which saw only a couple of festive decorations on the pathway at Christmas.

But after taking a year off because of the pandemic the family are not impressed that their tradition has been ruined as they claim a new housing officer for Cornwall Housing, which owns the surrounding land, has told them they are not to do it for 2021 or in future years.

Roger Clifford, 73, says that despite the employee citing some "ridiculous" health and safety reasons like "slippery grass" that they have yet to have been given a "good enough" reason why they are not to go ahead after all these years.

"It's a communal area outside that we put virtually a full-size Father Christmas sleigh on and inflatable reindeer," he said. "In previous years children would sit in it and have their photographs taken and we've even got a castle that we built and was part of the old cathedral display on the Trafalgar Roundabout (in Truro)."

He said the family has gone through the trouble of putting on quite the show each year knowing how many families and children come out to enjoy it, but this year someone has pulled a Grinch on them.
"We decided ourselves not to do it last year because everyone was in lockdown," he said. "But people love it and my son wanted to do it this year.

0_LL_DCM_171121-Feock-Christmas-house_04

"We've had people come around already to see what we've put up and this is how it goes. People tell their friends about the lights and it sort of snowballs from there".

But Roger, wife Elizabeth Clifford, 71, and son Ryan Clifford, 28, say that Cornwall Housing has put the kibosh on this year's plans after more than two decades.

We also share the beautiful decorations, the goodwill and the fantastic gifts that our beautiful county has to offer.

And with the neighbours apparently rallying behind them the Cliffords say they see no reason why they should be banned from doing it after all this time.

"We've had visitors as far as Dubai come out and say how good it was and people from all over the country that come down at Christmas time to visit relatives, or for a Christmas break, and they usually come each year to see it," Mr Clifford continued.

"We have had no problems from anyone else previously but a new housing officer has come in and told us no. The old housing officers used to come out and have a look at them, not to question them but to see the show," he said.

He said despite it being a communal area the Clifford family have maintained and cut the grass for years so he can't understand why they would not be able to go on with the display this year.

"It's a tradition for us and I don't like breaking tradition," Mr Clifford said, speaking of what the lights mean to his family. "My son who is 28 has been doing it since he was little and it's been his project every year and adds to it. We are just wound-up really and gobsmacked."

Cornwall Housing has been contacted for comment but not responded as yet.

 

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Bureaucratic Grinches if you ask me!

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Is this the city of Cromwell telling them not to, I am not familiar with the term housing officer? Sounds like typical government overreach to me. Just another reason I don't live inside of a city limits.

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31 minutes ago, Randy said:

Is this the city of Cromwell telling them not to, I am not familiar with the term housing officer? Sounds like typical government overreach to me. Just another reason I don't live inside of a city limits.

Its a UK based story from a town outside of Truro In Cornwall.

A housing officer is a  local government official, who thinks he is some kind of "I will stamp my authority" Sheriff :( 

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Ok, I believe that would be the same thing as a code enforcement officer here. 

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grinch smile GIFRegardless of title, they are still way to close to this guy!

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Sometimes a HOA, (Home Owners Association) made up of home owners in a given area will, can sink some pretty sharp teeth into a member.  Can't live with, nor without

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59 minutes ago, Santa Craig Maxwell said:

Sometimes a HOA, (Home Owners Association) made up of home owners in a given area will, can sink some pretty sharp teeth into a member.  Can't live with, nor without

That is one major reason why i will never live in a neighborhood with an HOA.

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