Saturday, 23 December 2006

Depressing Christmas Event

This story from the Newcastle Journal on Friday December 22 has really depressed me.

Christmas tree felled by attacks

VANDALS have killed city’s Christmas tree, after repeatedly smashing its lights and tearing off branches.
Newcastle City Council last night said it had reluctantly decided to remove the festive display at the top of
Northumberland Street, outside the Haymarket Metro station, following a spate of attacks.
Ever since November 16, when the tree was switched on, its 3,200 lights have fallen victim to a minority with no
respect or community pride, said a spokesman.
The council was forced to replace 60% of the lights, at a cost of £1,200 plus labour. But even the replacements
were damaged beyond repair, while numerous branches were broken off.
Coun Wendy Taylor said: “All in all, this has left the tree in a very sorry state which detracts from the city’s festive
atmosphere rather than adding to it. The decision has therefore been taken to remove the lights today and the tree
itself tomorrow.
“We should not have to do this, but the vandalism has been of such a scale that we have run out of bulbs, making
it impractical to replace them with so little time remaining before the big day.
“We will review the situation before next year’s festive period, and hopefully we will be able to find some way to
overcome this selfish, anti-social behaviour.”
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “It is very sad that the mindless actions of a few individuals have led to
this tree being removed. It’s a shame that the spirit of Christmas seems to have bypassed them.”

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