March wonky Christmas tree ‘like leaning tower of Pisa’

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The less than perfectly straight Christmas tree has got residents of March talking
By John Devine and Helen Burchell
BBC News, Cambridgeshire

A “wonky” Christmas tree erected in a town has been causing a stir among residents.

The tree, which is about 30ft (9m) high, has a pronounced lean at the top and sits on Market Place, in the Cambridgeshire town of March.

Resident Kimberly Williams said: “The Italians have got the leaning tower of Pisa – March has now got the leaning tree of Christmas.”

Volunteers who erected the tree said it was like that when they got it.

Dozens of people commented when a photograph of the wonky tree was posted on a local Facebook group.

Some called it “embarrassing” while others praised the work of volunteers from the March Christmas Lights Committee who are responsible for erecting the tree and decorating it.

Kimberly Williams said it was possible the leaning tree would make the Fenland town famous

Ms Williams, 50, said: “It’s better than last year, but it’s a bit wonky isn’t it? It’s a bit on the lean.”

But, she added she was grateful that the town did actually have a real tree.

“I think we should be proud of it”, she said, agreeing its imperfections could become the unique selling point for the Fenland town.

Robert Moat, 64, who lives in March, told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire: “I’ve been here four years and the tree’s been wonky every year, but at least they make the effort to put something up.”

Anne Conroy said she would be worried if she was the fairy on top of this tree

David Williams, 51, said he had some concerns about whether the tree was safe – because it was leaning.

“It’s a bit of a disappointment to the community,” he said.

“There’s no symmetry to it at all, but we love coming down with the kids to see the lights turned on, so we’re just hoping the lights are going to do the trick.”

Anne Conroy, 88, agreed, and said she would not personally like to be the fairy trying to balance on the top of this particular tree.

“It’s certainly leaning, it’s dangerous,” she said.

One resident said it might look better once all the lights are on

Replying to criticism on social media, the lights committee wrote that members had ordered the tree almost a year ago and it was “down to the supplier/luck as to what overall size/condition of tree we receive in the end”.

“We will pass the feedback we received regarding the tree not being straight to the supplier in the hopes that next year’s tree is a better one,” they added.

Martin Field, a town councillor and member of the lights committee, told the BBC the tree had been donated to the town by a local business.

He said the tree had been put in place by a professional tree surgeon but the trunk was bent – “so it’s in the ground as it should be, but that’s what he had to work with”.

“We always have a nice big tree and it’s a focal point.

“Huge numbers of people will come along and enjoy Friday’s Christmas lights switch-on and we don’t want a few negative comments to distract from the joy of this.”

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