Seaford resident's Christmas decorations get lots of attention on television

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Seaford resident, Geoff Stonebanks is having a much-publicised Christmas this year! In recent years, his vast collection of Christmas decorations has featured on a Channel 5 documentary “Incredible Christmas Trees And How To Decorate Them”, ITV’s This Morning, The Jeremy Vine’s Show and a couple of times on BBC SE Today. Last year a crew from German TV, ZDR, also filmed a piece which was shown on their lunchtime TV programme Mittag Magazin.

So, what has 2023 brought to Geoff and his collection? Geoff tells us: “Back in November, I was persuaded to enter my Christmas decoration collection as part of Airtasker’s “Britain’s Biggest Collector’s” Award. All I had to do was register my collection on their website. “

Whether you’re a collector of 90s nostalgia, Christmas decorations, royal memorabilia or Barbie dolls, Airtasker is looking for the biggest and most outrageous treasure troves, with five UK winners in line for being awarded. Four runner-up finalists will receive a medal along with £200 to help build display areas to showcase their collections and one overall winner who will bag a £1,000 to house their hero products along with the ‘Britain's Best Collector’ trophy.   

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The net result of this interaction with Cherish PR saw a crew from ITV Meridian spend time filming Geoff’s collection on 6th December, for broadcast on the ITV evening news within the next few days. Last weekend, a feature appeared online with Metro and one is scheduled to be published by the Daily Express in the next few days too.

Filming with Meridian 6th DecemberFilming with Meridian 6th December
Filming with Meridian 6th December

Geoff goes on to say: “I was amazed when I was contacted by Helene, a reporter on a Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, this week, asking to interview me and write a story about my decorations. The interview has been done and the feature is due to be published in Norway next week.”

Then to top it all off, one of the planners on the Sky News Breakfast Show has approached Geoff, asking if he might be available to fill a slot on their show on Christmas morning. They were looking to have a 6 to 10-minute slot, live by zoom, with views of Geoff’s collection in the background. Talks are still ongoing, but fingers crossed.

Geoff’s love of all things Christmas began as a child at his parents’ pubs, The Plough in Kingham and the Dolphin, near Banbury

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His Mum, Barbara, mobilised him each year to help decorate the popular watering holes. Geoff would put up tinsel, carry in trees and hang up decorations above the bar.

Geoff and 11 of his Christmas treesGeoff and 11 of his Christmas trees
Geoff and 11 of his Christmas trees

He continues: ‘The Dolphin would open on Christmas Day so people who lived alone had the chance to have some company. It needed to look the part. In the sixties we got a lot of decorations from Woolworths as it was the place to go back then. But, being a country pub, we also brought in holly and ivy from the garden.”

When Geoff’s parents retired in 1987, he adopted the sizeable pile of festive items left at the Dolphin. Since then, he has only added to the collection.

On new acquisitions for 2023, Geoff says: “I’ve been very good this year, I’ve only bought two decorations so far, a pretty had painted oyster shell with beautiful Christmas scenes from a recent visit to Whitstable and a ballerina zebra. Only yesterday, a friend gifted a pretty watering can decoration too.”

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