Jon’s lights display legacy lives on

A Christmas lights extravaganza which has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years is to continue in memory of the grandfather behind the project.

Saturday, 5th December 2015, 8:00 pm
Four year old Aiden Sharpe switches on the Christmas lights at the home of grandpapents Jon and Jennifer Sharpe at their home in Featherstone

Jon Sharpe spent weeks setting up a dazzling display of thousands of lights outside his and wife Jennifer’s home in Featherstone ahead of every Christmas for more than 20 years.

Hundreds of people used to catch a glimpse of the spectacle, which has raised more than £20,000 for Pontefract’s Prince of Wales Hospice.

Mr Sharpe, 74, who was suffering from lung cancer mesothelioma, died on November 11.

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Mr Sharpe’s vast lights displays have been donated to Farmer Copley’s farm shop on Pontefract Road, Purston.

His widow, Jennifer, 66, and five-year-old grandson Aiden, switched on the Christmas lights at Farmer Copley’s at 5pm on Friday, December 4.

The lights will be on at Farmer Copley’s from 5pm to 8pm every night until December 18 and are set to raise more cash for the hospice.

Mrs Sharpe said: “I’m delighted the lights will be carrying on, but I’m very sad Jon won’t be here this year to see them.”

Semi-retired electrical engineer Mr Sharpe’s displays featured around 30,000 bulbs and included animated figures and sound and lights displays

The trees, driveway and pond all twinkled into life alongside moving illuminated reindeer, penguins, other festive characters, a laser display as well as sound and lights displays.

Tracey Mearns, fundraiser at the Prince of Wales Hospice, said: “It’s even more important that we carry on the tradition of the lights fundraiser in Jon’s memory and this is something his wife Jennifer is still very keen to do and support. Jon’s death has made everyone want to work even harder to raise money for the hospice.”

Heather Copley said: “Farmer Copleys are pleased to help carry on the fantastic work Jon and Jenny have done in previous years, all in aid of the Prince of Wales Hospice.

“We hope that the walk through element to this year’s lights will be enjoyed by all the community, and thank Jon and Jenny for passing the gauntlet to us and hope we live up to their very high standards.”

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Mr Sharpe’s funeral service will take place at Pontefract Crematorium from 12pm on Thursday December 10, followed by a wake at the neighbouring King’s Croft Hotel.

Mrs Sharpe said anyone wishing to attend the funeral will be welcome.