Town will have a real Christmas tree again

The tree of lights in Red Lion Square, Stamford, last year

The tree of lights in Red Lion Square, Stamford, last year

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A real tree will once again have pride of place in the centre of Stamford after councillors ditched the illumination used last year.

Stamford Town Council bought a tree of lights last year, which replaced the usual tree in the square.

But after people in the town complained and the lights were vandalised, the town council has decided to go back to the usual pine tree provided by Burghley Estates and transported by RAF Wittering.

The town council will use the bulbs from the tree of lights to decorate a tree in All Saints churchyard and there will also be a string of lights across Red Lion Square.

It has also added to the decorations in the High Street, which this year will include 10 artificial trees mounted on buildings. Snowflakes and cherubs will be added to the lights draped across the streets.

The switch-on of the lights will be on Friday, November 30, during a programme of entertainment that starts at 4.30pm and includes performances by Wildcats and primary school choir singers.

This year there will also be a fireworks display after The Very Rev Mark Warrick agreed to allow them to be set off from the churchyard.

Coun Maxine Couch (Ind), who sits on the council’s events committee, said: “A real tree is a big part of Stamford and I think people will be pleased we have returned to the original tree.

“The tree of lights was very modern for Stamford, which is a traditional town.

“I think the town will look very pretty this year and Christmas will go off with a bang.”

The town council was criticised last year after reports the tree of lights cost £17,000 but Coun Couch said that was the total budget for decorations, including putting up and dismantling the lights.

She said the town council had received a partial refund after returning the frame of the tree to the supplier but would not say how much.