Villagers band together to get their own festive tree

Wakefield Council refused to buy Gawthorpe community a Christmas tree so they all rallied together and bought one.

Wakefield Council refused to buy Gawthorpe community a Christmas tree so they all rallied together and bought one.

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A community helped bring the seasonal sparkle back to its streets after it banded together to get a Christmas tree.

People in Gawthorpe faced celebrating the festive period without a tree after Wakefield Council said it could not afford to buy one for the village.

The community took matters into their hands and approached Owl Lane Farm Nurseries in Ossett, who donated a 12ft tree.

It was put up on High Street, near the Shoulder of Mutton pub, and families decorated it with silver and red tinsel and baubles.

Samantha Howden, of Swithenbank Avenue, started a Facebook group to get Gawthorpe a Christmas tree.

She said: “I like a traditional Christmas and it would have been a shame not to have one.

“The children enjoyed decorating it and it was nice to see everyone come together.”

Mrs Howden and her friend Terri Sykes set up a fundraising page and raised £130 to buy lights for the tree.

They also organised a carol service on Friday, where the Brick House Youth Club performed festive songs.

The council’s service director for economic growth Sarah Pearson said: “Since 2013 we have been contacting all parish and town councils to make them aware of the council’s paid-for Christmas tree service, which includes tree installation, lights and insurance,

“Unfortunately this year, Gawthorpe Parish Council were unable to fund the council’s Christmas tree offer.”