Christmas lights fire hazard at Del Boy’s old tower block

A tower block which featured in the hit BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses has had its Christmas lights taken down because of fire safety fears.

Mandela House ResidentsBristol City Council removed the lights from the front of Whitemead House – also known as Nelson Mandela House, the home of Derek ‘Del Boy’ and Rodney Trotter in the TV sitcom – as well as at two neighbouring blocks.

The move has left residents angry and upset.

Shirley Bush, chair of the Duckmoor Road Residents’ Association told the Bristol Evening Post:

“We have had Christmas lights for 23 years. What makes me really angry is that they didn’t even make me aware that they were going to turn the electricity off.

“They are very important to the people living here. They look forward to them every year. We pay for them all and people put their hands in their pockets to help.

“But the council have just come and turned them off without any consultation at all. It’s health and safety gone mad again.”

Bristol City Council said it wrote to the residents in October saying they would need to get a qualified electrician to supervise the installation of the lights, but this had not been done. The lights had been wired directly into a ceiling circuit without a circuit breaker, wall sockets had been overloaded, and an external waterproof socket was open to the elements because a timer had been installed.

A council spokesman told

“We have no desire whatsoever to interfere with residents’ celebrations but, unfortunately, fires don’t stop at Christmas and it would have been very remiss if we had not acted, in the interest of all residents, on genuine safety concerns.

“The switch-off was only ever intended to be temporary and a team of electricians have been working at the blocks to re-install the lights, safely. We hope that they will be back on in a few days.”

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