Meet the grandad behind this amazing Christmas wonderland in South Shields

This granddad’s Christmas lights are outshining South Shields, with a festive display to raise cash for children’s cancer charity.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 6:00 am

Stan Yannetta has spent more than £1,000 and the last three weeks decking out his garden on Benton Road, South Shields, for the festive season.

The first night saw residents flocking to catch a glimpse of his handiwork, with some even waiting from 3.30pm for the big switch on.

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Stan Yanetta's Christmas display at his Heaton Gardens home in South Shields, where he has spent the last 3 weeks transforming his house with lights and decorations. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Stan Yanetta's Christmas display at his Heaton Gardens home in South Shields, where he has spent the last 3 weeks transforming his house with lights and decorations. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

The 58-year-old’s garden is already a well-known attraction among residents in South Tyneside, thanks to his collection of more than 30 life-size statues in the garden, including Laurel and Hardy, King Kong and the cheetah with the glow-in-the-dark eyes on the garage roof.

In October, his Halloween display - including real hearse, grim reaper and graveyard scene - raised more than £1,200 for local charity the Charlie and Carter Cookson Foundation.

Now visitors are expected to travel from all corners of the region to experience his festive extravaganza, with all donations going to raise money for the Young Lives vs Cancer trust.

Stan queued from 8am to get his hands on the Christmas characters, including his beloved white polar bears, with the whole display taking around three weeks to install.

Stan Yanetta's Christmas display at his Heaton Gardens home in South Shields, where he has spent the last 3 weeks transforming his house with lights and decorations. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

He has even created ‘Stanta’s grotto’ in his garage, where he will be dressing up as Santa every evening between 6pm-7.30pm from Thursday, December 5 until Christmas Eve, for youngsters to have their photo taken with the man himself.

“It’s all for the kids. People are always saying there’s nothing around here, this gives everyone something to look forward to,” said the granddad-of-five.

“I just love to see the expressions on the kids’ faces.”

Stan, who has been creating festive displays outside his home for the last six years, believes this is his best yet.

Stan Yanetta's Christmas display at his Heaton Gardens home in South Shields, where he has spent the last 3 weeks transforming his house with lights and decorations. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

“This is the biggest its ever been, without a doubt,” he added.

“It looks unbelievable, I’m over the moon with it all. It’s going to be fantastic.”

Heaton Gardens resident Stan Yanetta alongside statues of Lauren and Hardy in his front garden. Picture by FRANK REID
Stan Yanetta's Christmas display at his Heaton Gardens home in South Shields, where he has spent the last 3 weeks transforming his house with lights and decorations. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Young people enjoy Stan Yannetta's Christmas display at his Heaton Gardens home in South Shields, where he has spent the last 3 weeks transforming his house with lights and decorations. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire