Southsea man lifts spirits after overwhelming response to community Christmas tree

A FESTIVE-spirited man has been pleased by the overwhelming response to his ‘spur of the moment’ idea to put a Christmas tree on the street for the community to decorate.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 7:00 am

Lewis Mason, 40, has helped bring the community together during difficult times after deciding to put up the bare tree on Castle Road, Southsea.

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At the start of December, Lewis put up the Castle Road Community Tree alongside a message on a noticeboard.

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Lewis Mason next to the community Christmas tree he put up in Castle Road

‘Merry Christmas everyone,’ it said. ‘If you would like to leave a decoration then please feel free to hang one.’

But what followed left Lewis amazed as the tree was quickly filled up with decorations.

‘There was no tree in the road so as a spur of the moment thing I thought I would stick one out there as a community tree that had no decorations, with the idea that people add their own,’ he said.

‘Within a couple of days there were five baubles and now it is pretty much covered. Everyone’s really embraced it. I’m very happy about it, I wasn’t expecting the response it had.

‘People have been leaving their names and addresses on decorations which have also been left on railings now. I’ve received cards of thanks too which is nice.

‘I did it for the community and it just took off.’

Lewis, who also put pumpkins out for Halloween, said the idea had been boosted by the road currently being closed off, resulting in more people walking along the street.

‘There’s no cars in the road at the moment and people are walking along more and stopping to say “hello”. It’s nice to see a smile brought to faces,’ he said.

‘A lot of people are on their own at the moment and it is important they have the community to lean on.

‘There’s also a homeless guy across the road and every day I see him picking up the baubles that have blown off the tree and put them back on.’

Lewis’ dad, Barry, 67, of Cosham, said: ‘Lewis is the sort of person who tries to bring the community together and create some festive cheer - and it’s working. We’re very proud of him.’

People are welcome to keep adding to the tree with Lewis taking down decorations at some point in January.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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