Damaged Christmas tree to be replaced in time for Sudbury lights switch on

The tree for Sudbury before it was unloaded from the truck - described as looking like it had been t

The tree for Sudbury before it was unloaded from the truck - described as looking like it had been through a hurricane - Credit: Archant

Last minute plans have been put in place, in Sudbury, to have a replacement Christmas tree on the Market Square.

It comes after the original tree arrived on Monday but was described as looking as if it had been through a “hurricane” and was returned to Elveden Forest.

Now another is due to arrive tomorrow (Thursday), less than 24 hours before the lights are due to be switched on.

Jodie Budd, the assistant to the town clerk, said: “We did not know what kind of state the tree was in until it was removed from the truck but it was damaged all down one side and was smashed up.

“It looked like it had been through a hurricane.

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“Now another is due to arrive at 9pm on Thursday and we will decorate it on Friday.

“It’s a 30ft tree and there has been lots of comments on how small it looks but it’s the same size tree that we have had over the years.”

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She said that the people at Elveden agreed on finding a replacement and would be arranging another delivery.

The switch on is due to be carried out at 6.30pm on Friday by the Mayor Sarah Page along with the winner of this year’s Christmas card competition, Grace Hiskett, from St Gregory Primary School, and links in with the annual Christmas Fair.

There will be a host of events taking place including carols, stalls, a mobile synthetic ice skating rink, an inflatable bouncy snow globe, reindeer and a hand-tame owl, fairground attractions plus a visit by Elsa and Anna, Frozen impersonators.

The latest development comes in a long running saga over the festive event which involved the threat of increased Council Tax bills for residents to pay for moving the tree to its new location between St Peter’s Church and the Thomas Gainsborough statue.

But money was colleced via a two-day social media storm organised by businessman Stuart Poole who managed to raise £3,000 from 14 sponsors.

They were Mainstream Granite, Specflue, Webb Truck Equipment, Holmes and Hill, Rob Harman carpet and vinyl, Darren Cox and the Cox Bros, Edwin Installations, Greenhill’s Landscapes, Highbank Riding School, Bay Horse public house, Wiles Contractors, Treadfirst Tyre & Exhaust, Winch & Blatch and Mutual Advantage.

And a further donation from Marc Howe, from Howie’s Snacks, has also managed to pay for the reindeer.

For around 30 years, the tree stood at the bottom of Sudbury’s Market Hill but around a decade ago - due to safety concerns raised by the police and highways officers - it was moved to Old Market Place opposite the Town Hall.

And councillors decided it could be moved ... but on the paved area between the church and statue.

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