Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Mystery tree lights up village

A generous - and as yet anonymous - benefactor appears to have supplied a Christmas tree to the West Yorkshire village of Slaithwaite

A 20ft Christmas tree has mysteriously appeared in the centre of a village - complete with lights.

Residents of Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, had been dismayed at Kirklees Council's decision not to provide a tree for the locals.

Other villages in the area - in the heart of Last Of The Summer Wine country and where the popular ITV drama Where The Heart Is was filmed - have been given a decorated large conifer.

All Slaithwaite got was some lights on a regular tree, close to the church and a pub.

But a generous - and as yet anonymous - benefactor appears to have supplied the Christmas tree some time yesterday.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: "Father Christmas must have been passing over and saw that we had no tree.

"The council should be ashamed. Hopefully they will let it stay up and maybe have a re-think next year. I think everyone would like to say thanks to the person who has paid for this."

Another local, who regularly has his fish and chip lunch in the nearby car park, said he saw two men put the tree up yesterday.

"I assumed it was Kirklees Council," he said. "Other villages have them, so I just thought we were getting ours a bit late."

A Kirklees Council spokesman said the council was aware of the tree in Slaithwaite, and confirmed it had not been supplied by the local authority. He said as long as the tree was safe, it would be allowed to remain.

A Huddersfield garden centre revealed that such large trees often have to be ordered years in advance, and the cost would run into hundreds of pounds.

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