A diamond occasion for town Christmas

Posted On September 20, 2007

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There will be extra reason to celebrate the festive season in Grange, UK, this year when the town’s giant illuminated Christmas tree reaches a major landmark.

The giant red cedarwood tree in Grange’s Ornamental Gardens has been lit with colourful festive illuminations every year since 1947. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the pride of Grange being lit by electricity.

Until two years ago the Grange tree held the record for being Britain’s biggest living Christmas tree. But Councillor Robin Webster, Chairman of Grange Christmas Tree Lights Committee, said it’s now lost that record to a tree in Kew Gardens. “About two years ago the tree was featured in Gardeners’ World magazine, which told readers Grange has the tallest living Christmas tree in the UK. People at Kew Gardens must have read that article and now they have a bigger tree lit up with lights each Christmas.”

Nevertheless extra special celebrations will be taking place in Grange to mark the diamond anniversary, explained town Mayor Councillor Robert Leach. He told Monday’s town Council meeting: “The Christmas tree lights committee met to make the arrangements for the switch on on the first Saturday in December. This will be our diamond jubilee year. It’s 60 years since we started having the tree lit. We are hoping to make it a night to remember.”

Standing at 73ft 11ins, the giant red cedarwood, is believed to be only the second tree in the country lit by electricity. The cost of the Christmas tree lights festivities in Grange are met each year by Grange town Council, local businesses and individual donations.

According to Gardeners’ World the western red cedar, Thuia plicata, is unrecognisable as the conifer often seen grown as a hedge, but still has a long way to go as it can reach a whopping 115ft (35m) high in the wild.