My idea of perfect Christmas – by man who lit up Ilkley

My idea of perfect Christmas – by man who lit up Ilkley

Rory sits by a glowing fire at his Ilkley home

Rory’s decorated tree at his Ilkley home

Logs round the fireplace – and The Snowman playing on the TV

Rory's lights have been hugely applauded

First published in Local news by , Gazette and Observer reporter

The Ilkley parish councillor who spent hours putting the magic into the town’s festive lights has spoken about his own perfect kind of Christmas.

Rory Marshall has now realised a whole new passion and flair in life after being made project manager of Ilkley Christmas Lights.

Rory, who was born in Ilkley and is very proud of his home town, wanted to create a tasteful, festive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy, especially the younger residents.

Wanting the job done a certain way, he personally took on the job of lighting up The Grove by installing thousands of white lights on the trees, which line the busy shopping street.

These lights will run all year round and have been widely appreciated by residents and visitors to the town.

He also spent many hours hand-fitting cable ties to the lights of the town’s main Christmas tree, and admits he became obsessed with the whole project.

He said: “I love Ilkley and I just thought you have got to do something for a place you love.

“People’s spirits have been lifted by the lights. I didn’t expect the reaction we got from the public. It feels amazing.

“I am a bit of a perfectionist. If I even see a branch out of line I have to fix it.”

He now wants to broaden his passion, which he will continue to develop in Ilkley, into a business in the New Year.

He hopes to share his experience and knowledge of how to redesign and implement new lights in other towns.

He realised there could be potential for a business venture after being complemented and approached for tips and advice from residents of other areas.

Mr Marshall has always been a fan of Christmas and admits it’s his favourite time of the year.

He said: “If it ever snows, it has got to be sledging. I used to do it on Ben Rhydding Golf course.

“I enjoy walking my Labrador through the snow, and spending the day with my family and friends.

“My mum was born in Munich, so we always have German-themed Christmas Eve celebrations.

“I love to put the classic Snowman film on. My other favourite traditions include drinking mulled wine up at the Cow and Calf pub.

“It is all about simple things like sitting round an open fire with family and friends listening to The Pogues.”

He said when he was a child one of his inspirations was the continental markets in Germany.

Mr Marshall has more ideas which he hopes could be implemented in the future. He would like to install speakers to lamp-posts along particular streets in Ilkley which would play festive music during the Christmas period and classical music at other times of the year.

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