Great-grandfather wants to ‘go viral’ after decorating entire garden for Christmas
PUBLISHED: 11:41 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:50 20 December 2019
Great-grandfather Ronald Beall wants to go viral.
The 83-year-old - who has Alzheimer's - has worked for weeks to single-handedly decorate his garden for Christmas, with thousands of bulbs and ornaments lighting up his home on Vawdrey Road, Drayton for the festive period.
Now, he wants everyone to come see his creation to raise money for charities close to his heart.
"It takes a good four weeks to get it all out," said Mr Beall, a retired mental health charge nurse at Little Plumstead Hospital who has lived in Norfolk for more than 50 years.
"When things stop and I have to take bits out to see what's wrong with it and replace things, it's a constant battle."
Mr Beall first started decorating his garden as an attraction 15 years ago as something that children at nearby Drayton CofE Junior School could enjoy, with the aim of helping the school to raise funds.
"The school was in my mind - they needed a minibus so I put a box out and parents put money in to fetch their children round, so they got some money for the minibus. I then did the same with the swimming pool roof."
This year, his chosen causes are the Alzheimer's Society and Age UK, to whom he wants to give back after receiving their support.
Mr Beall also says that working on the lights every year keeps him focussed and he credits it as one of the reasons why he hasn't been affected as much as he might by his condition.
"They've helped me. I realised when in my position the valuable work they do, which is why I'm raising money for them - it's my way of giving back.
"Some of us seem to go downhill quite quickly, and then there's people like me who have aims and objectives still, who can talk for England.
"I'm very lucky to be at the level that I've kept."
Mr Beall, who is also a poppy collector in Drayton, wants as many people as possible to come see his creation and hopes that he can smash his fundraising record from last year.
"I want as many people as possible to come and see the garden - and I want it to go viral! Last year we raised £400 and I hope to double that.
"I normally aim for around January 12, but people come to me and say 'I've got friends coming' - if it's still making money for the charities then I'll leave them up until the end of January."
Granddaughter Lindsay Pendle, 32, an auxiliary nurse at James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, said: "He's done fantastic. I'm super proud of his accomplishments, especially at 83 and with his Alzheimer's. It's nice to see him having something to focus on.
"He's so generous - he's always giving."
Even at 83 and suffering from an irreversible disease, Mr Beall has no plans to slow down.
He said: "I plan on doing it for as long as I can - I'm only 83!"
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