Town council to keep the spirit of Christmas alive and well - and that includes TWO trees on the market place

PUBLISHED: 15:06 24 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:06 24 September 2020

Peterborough's loss in Wisbech's gain as this spectacular - but controversial- Christmas tree is now owned by Wisbech Town Council. It will go one end of the market place - a more traditional tree will adorn the other. Picture; TERRY HARRIS

Peterborough's loss in Wisbech's gain as this spectacular - but controversial- Christmas tree is now owned by Wisbech Town Council. It will go one end of the market place - a more traditional tree will adorn the other. Picture; TERRY HARRIS

Archant

Wisbech will shake off lockdown blues with not one but TWO Christmas trees – one at each end of the market place.

Peterborough's loss in Wisbech's gain as this spectacular - but controversial- Christmas tree is now owned by Wisbech Town Council. It will go one end of the market place - a more traditional tree will adorn the other. Picture; TERRY HARRIS Peterborough's loss in Wisbech's gain as this spectacular - but controversial- Christmas tree is now owned by Wisbech Town Council. It will go one end of the market place - a more traditional tree will adorn the other. Picture; TERRY HARRIS

The town may have been forced to knock its traditional – and renowned – Christmas market on the head for 2020 but with some ingenuity the festive spirit will be alive and flourishing.

Working on the principle of never looking a gift horse in the mouth, the town council will proudly erect the glittering ‘fake’ tree they were given by Peterborough City Council.

The £40,000 metal tree was dropped by the city council after a four-year run following a controversy which likened it, unkindly, by residents to bubble wrap and baubles.

Last year the city put it in storage, spent £6,200 on a real 40ft spruce, and away they went.

Peterborough's loss in Wisbech's gain as this spectacular - but controversial- Christmas tree is now owned by Wisbech Town Council. It will go one end of the market place - a more traditional tree will adorn the other. Picture; TERRY HARRIS Peterborough's loss in Wisbech's gain as this spectacular - but controversial- Christmas tree is now owned by Wisbech Town Council. It will go one end of the market place - a more traditional tree will adorn the other. Picture; TERRY HARRIS

But it has arrived in Wisbech and will adorn one end of the market place with the town’s traditional, and real, tree at the other end.

“We’re lucky to have both” said Tina Gambell, the town council’s customer service and liaison officer.

“Some will like the new tree, some won’t so we will have both,” she said,

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“A combination of new and tradition.”

And even though the Christmas market – originally planned for Sunday December 13 – has been cancelled, the town council has socially distanced celebrations in mind.

Already it has scheduled its ‘food at the market place’ on Saturday December 12.

The new feature was launched last week and similar events for Halloween and Guy Fawkes are planned for October and November.

The Christmas event will again feature top local chef Alison Sloan and she will be joined by the mayor, Cllr Aigars Balsevics, and the deputy mayor, Cllr Andrew Lynn, for live cooking demonstrations.

These are free to attend events but tickets need to be obtained ahead of time to ensure you get a socially distanced chair.

Christmas Lights switch on will go ahead on Sunday November 29 but it will be a virtual event although some limited activity may be arranged for the market place that day.

Tina said they had received inquiries of traders for the day and the council was looking at ways of making it a Covid-19 restricted occasion.

“The lights switch on will mean the town is definitely lit up,” said Tina, “It’s just that we are going to avoid that congestion, but at a certain time of day they will be switched on.”


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