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Bradwell village switch on hydroelectric Christmas lights in UK first

Mike Joseph who has set up a water-powered generator with the help of local school children to power the village Christmas lights.
Mike Joseph who has set up a water-powered generator with the help of local school children to power the village Christmas lights.

Residents of a Hope Valley village may be dreaming of a wet Christmas, after launching what may be the UK’s first hydro-powered illuminations.

The invention lit up Bradwell for the first time on Sunday, December 10, with a water wheel powering a generator and festive lighting display.

Bradwell's water-powered generator which is lighting up Christmas decorations in the village.

Bradwell's water-powered generator which is lighting up Christmas decorations in the village.

The Bradda Brook is usually a focus for summer fun and the village duck races, but residents Michael Joseph and Richard Patton and the Bradda Dads group have found a new way to harness its power.

Michael said: “We believe this is the first project of its kind in the UK. We’re passionate about sustainable power, and educating local children about the sources of renewable energy all around them.

“More importantly though, we wanted to create a magical Christmas display for everyone in the village to enjoy.”

Pupils from Bradwell Junior School have been involved with the project from an early stage, and have programmed the lighting sequences using a Raspberry Pi computer.

Michael said: “It has been great to see the children inspired. The project has been a great opportunity for the village to pull together and do something truly unique and valuable which has so many benefits to so many people.”

Headteacher Kim Attwood said: “It has been a wonderful opportunity for our children to learn about science and sustainability, and make a contribution to their community.”

The project has been funded by the Peak District National Park Authority, Derbyshire Dales District Council, and the dads themselves.