VISITORS labelled it as good as Blackpool Illuminations but the efforts of an Oswaldtwistle street with their festive lights were rewarded after a record amount of cash was raised for charity.

For the past 14 years Tony Jenkinson has been putting on a celebration of lights outside his property on Aspen Fold and asked visitors to donate to Marie Curie Cancer Charity.

In December, the Lancashire Telegraph reported about his fundraising efforts and set a target of £2k for the good cause but he had fears over people turning out due to the pandemic.

However, he was overjoyed to find out that the people from as far away as Blackpool, Bolton and Liverpool had played a role in raising £2,246 - which was their best-ever total.

He said: "The money has come through in bits and bats and we have seen the total this week.

"In the past few weeks we have known that we are near it and it is great how the neighbours have supported us.

"We have taken £2,000 recently and the best amount was last year with £2,226 but we beat that this year which is great considering we were in the pandemic.

"Usually we would have a lights switch-on with stalls and raffles and lots of people coming and that would raise £1,000 alone but we were not able to do that.

"But it would not be possible without the neighbours supporting it and putting lights up and boxes out to raise money.

"Also it was great having so many people coming to see it.

"One person came from Blackpool and told us that it was like the Blackpool Illuminations and we were happy about that."

Tony says he has thinks that he has raised more than £20k during his 14 years as he thinks he usually raises £1,400 each year.

He added: "My dad Arthur had lung cancer and died in 2001 but he vowed to support Marie Curie because of their care.

"It is nice to get this amount in the 20th year and I have done other things such as sponsored walks from Blackpool to Fleetwood."

Tony has already got eight new lights ready for next year and is drying off some of his lights to put away to storage for next year and discovered he used 74 plugs.

He said: "I don't really care about the cost of the electricity as it is for a good cause."