Gosport replaces its Christmas tree after it arrives in the town damaged 'with chunk missing'

A ‘NAFF’ Christmas tree which was set to be the centre piece of a town’s festive decorations has been hacked down and replaced.

Saturday, 27th November 2021, 4:05 pm

Gosport’s festive display arrived on Wednesday evening – but the tree was crumpled and broken, leaving residents in the town fuming.

The ‘defective’ tree was then cut to pieces and eventually replaced by a new one, which was decorated and placed back in pride of place in the town centre on Thursday.

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Before and after: the first 'defective' Christmas tree, pictured left, having been hacked down and, right, the new tree now placed in Gosport's town centre

Taking to Facebook on Thursday, a spokesman for Gosport Borough Council said: ‘We had a tree delivered yesterday evening, but when we unwrapped it we saw it had a huge chunk missing because of damage in transit, so we rejected it. We're getting a replacement this afternoon, at no extra cost, and contractors are all set to decorate it tonight.’

However, residents across Gosport have since vented their anger over the botched Christmas showpiece, with some branding the town’s annual festive tree ‘pitiful’ on social media.

One resident on Facebook said: ‘How is it that every where else get lovely trees but Gosport looks like it’s only half a tree and the best part has gone else where. It would be better if they did not bother.’

Another added: ‘Gosport Xmas decorations and tree have been put to shame the last couple of years by Lee-on-the-Solent, they make a real effort.’

Angry residents at the time compared the tree to ‘half a bush’ and said was nothing compared to the town’s artificial tree in 2018, which cost a fraction of the price – £7,400.

The tree, pictured at the time, appeared to be missing a top chunk with Mike Lyons jokingly writing on Facebook: ‘Gosport could only afford half a tree this year.’

Speaking about the latest Christmas tree misadventure, Councillor Graham Burgess, leader of Gosport Borough Council, insisted the taxpayer would not fund the cost of the new tree.

He said: ‘The first tree came me and it was defective. It was destroyed. The supplier sent another which is now up in the town.’

He added: ‘We’re not paying for two trees, we’re only for one tree.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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