It's second time lucky as Christmas tree is put up TWICE in Bedfordshire town

Tree was rejected because it was the wrong shape

By Reporter
Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 1:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 1:25 pm

A giant Christmas tree was erected in the centre of Ampthill – TWICE.

Organiser Helen Driver, of the town’s Business Chamber, got the (pine) needle over the first one. And she sent it back for being the WRONG SHAPE.

The suppliers drove back to Solihull in Birmingham before returning in the afternoon with a second huge tree.

The Christmas tree at Ampthill

And it was dusk before they finally put it into place in the market square, then they had to come back on Wednesday, add the lights and a star on top.

Helen said: “The original tree was rather disappointing and just didn’t look right.

“But fir (sic) play – we’re delighted with the replacement. It’s fabulous, perhaps the best we have ever had.

“So despite Covid, we are still determined everybody will have as great a Christmas as possible in Ampthill.”

A couple of years ago the Georgian market town’s tree was decorated by the same team who do Queen’s Christmas lights at Windsor Castle. And a similar design is planned this year.

But switching on the lights, usually marked by a fun fair, carols from the town band and a speech by the mayor, is being held in secrecy.

Helen added: “Obviously we can’t have the usual celebrations because of Covid social distancing, but we feared just announcing the time of the lights being switched on might result in crowds gathering.

“So we have decided not to reveal when it will happen. Only two people know and they are sworn to secrecy.

“For the rest of the town it will be a surprise. But we can promise the tree will look fantastic."

Despite Covid, Ampthill’s business leaders hope the traditional lights will attract shoppers once the lockdown ends in December 2.

“We are determined to have as great a Christmas as possible,” said Helen, who with husband Mick runs the town’s Drivers Builders.

“Ampthill always punches above its weight with its Christmas display – as with so many other things in our lovely little town.

“And Covid certainly won’t stop us getting the Christmas spirit.”