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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Brailsford Brothers light up Brentry and the lives of many

With Brentry's heroes, Lee and Paul B

Seldom am I more proud to be the MP for Bristol North West than on the night of the Brailsford Brothers' Christmas Switch-on in aid of the Wallace and Gromit Appeal. I've seen the lights on their mum's house on Oakbourn Road get more and more, and the crowds get larger and larger as each year goes by. After being featured in a Channel Four Documentary last year, this year, the extravaganza reached new hights with some outstanding performances from local artists, which held us all spell-bound.

I first came across Lee and Paul when I was out canvassing in Brentry, one scorching hot September day. It was once of those boiling hot days left over from mid-summer, and I was amazed to find the two brothers working away in their garage in the heat , on Father Christmas light displays. "It's a bit early, isn't it?!" I asked, incredulously. Then they told me of the mammoth task they undertake each year in transforming their mum's house into a winter wonderland. It takes months.

They also told me how they fork out for the electricity bill from their own money, in order to raise funds for the Wallace and Gromit appeal. For years in succession we wrote to the energy company to ask them to give them some help on the bill, since it was for charity. Appallingly, we never managed to persuade them. Now, thanks to some superb sponsors, the brothers have some help in putting on the big Brentry Christmas Light Up.

The event certainly kickstarts my Christmas, and makes me tremendously proud to be the MP for this amazing community.  The Brailsford Brothers are on twitter @brailsfordxmas;   you can go to their website to donate:  or text text rixy88 and £1, £5 or £10 to 70070.

Lee and Paul Brailsford, and all the team, thank you so much for making our Christmas so special, and raising thousands of pounds over the years for all those children helped by the Wallace and Gromit Appeal.

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