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Newmarket teenager’s spectacular Christmas lights display switched on to raise cash for charities

Teenager Alex Dudgeon has once again brightened up the festive season in Newmarket with another stunning display of Christmas lights which he has lit up for charity.

Seventeen-year-old Alex first put up lights just for fun outside his home at The Links Cottages, near Newmarket Golf Club and The Jockey Club training grounds, off the Cambridge Road, nearly a decade ago, when he was helped by his father and grandfather.

As the display got bigger year by year it started to attract visitors who showed their appreciation of Alex’s efforts by donating money which he gave to charity until finally he officially opened up to the public five years ago, delighting crowds of people and raising hundreds of pound for good causes.

Alex Dudgeon switching on his annual Christmas lights display
Alex Dudgeon switching on his annual Christmas lights display

This year’s lights are the biggest and best best ever, according to his proud grandmother Ann Heyes.

“They completely cover the front and side of the house, with lights in the trees and the garden where there’s the North Pole and a grotto,” said Ann.

“He started in mid-October, earlier than usual, and for the first time he has done every single bit of the work himself. It looks absolutely beautiful and I am so proud of him,” she added.

This year, the money will again go to the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK with the Fire Service also receiving a share.

The EAAA is a cause close to the hearts of Alex and his family after a crew and paramedics from the service helped save the life of his cousin Darcy Cook who was five-years-old when she was seriously injured in a road accident in Bury St Edmunds in 2016.

Darcy, now 12, is a pupil at Newmarket Academy, also attended by Alex until he left in the summer when, appropriately enough, he took up an apprenticeship as an electrician with the Huttie Group based at Swaffham Bulbeck

He is, once again, grateful to Steve Lewis, manager of Tesco’s Newmarket and the shop’s community champion, Clare Mansfield, for their help, including the last-minute delivery of three Christmas trees. Homebase donated a tree stand and more lights and the QD shop in Newmarket High Street has given Alex all returned Christmas items.