Clacton-on-Sea: New and improved town square Christmas Tree finally on display after 12ft tree rejected

The seasonal spirit has returned to Clacton-on-Sea with a splendid 30ft specimen standing proudly in

The seasonal spirit has returned to Clacton-on-Sea with a splendid 30ft specimen standing proudly in the Town Square putting smiles on the faces of shoppers and traders alike. - Credit: Archant

A Christmas tree which caused a stir in a north-east Essex town square has finally been put in place just before the start of a packed festive season.

Tendring District Council (TDC) leader Peter Halliday said last week it was “very disappointing” to tear down a generously donated 12ft tree in Clacton-on-Sea following concerns over its small stature and exposure to harsh coastal weather.

The tree, a good-will gesture from The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), had only been erected for 24 hours before it was removed on Friday.

The decision led to an appeal for help in finding a replacement for the town square, with the council confirming earlier this week two sponsors came forward to fund the new 30ft Christmas tree and its transportation from Elveden Forest.

Consultants Mott MacDonald, who have been working with TDC on a new sea defence project, contributed £785 towards the cost. The FSB paid £200.

Mr Halliday, speaking after the tree was put up yesterday, said: “It was kind of the FSB to donate the original tree but it was sadly not big enough for the size of the location and the type of weather it would have to withstand for more than a month – it was simply not man enough for the job.

“However, great credit to them, the FSB has come back with a further donation of £200 and Mott MacDonald has contributed a very sizeable £785 for the type of tree we normally have in Clacton.

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“Christmas is truly back on in style and I thank them both for their help with this - and I am sure the people of Clacton really appreciate the gesture.”

It comes ahead of the Christmas lights switch-on, late-night shopping and a traditional continental market lined up over the coming weeks.

The original tree will now be donated to a charity in line with the wishes of the FSB.