Sunday, 17 January 2021

Woman donates 14ft Christmas tree to community

Woman donates 14ft Christmas tree to community

A CHRISTMAS tree measuring 14ft has been donated to Sonning Common by a villager.

Jean Dudman had been growing the Nordmann fir in the garden at her home in Baskerville Road for about 15 years.

It had grown too big for her and her husband Graham to bring indoors to decorate so they decided to give it to the community.

Mrs Dudman explained: “It was a tree that we bought one Christmas that still had its roots and we planted it in the garden and forgot about it. We always plant our Christmas trees and re-use them.

“This one grew too big for us to bring back inside — it just grew like mad.

“It was right by the side of our cherry tree and was growing up into the branches, which wasn’t doing either tree any good. It seemed an appropriate thing to do to give it to the village.”

The tree has been installed outside the village hall in Wood Lane and decorated.

It was delivered by Laurence Williams, of Heights Tree Care, who provided his services free of charge.

He said: “I wanted to do it pro bono as I live locally and wanted to give something back to the community.”  Mr Williams, who lives in Gallowstree Common, said it took his team about two hours to cut down the tree in Mrs Dudman’s garden.

“We don’t usually do this but I wanted to after the parish council asked.” 

Mark Weston, the village warden, took charge of putting up the tree and decorating it with the help of Rob Smith and Tony Goodchild.

It is in a blue homemade planter decorated with gold stars made by Mr Smith.

Usually, the village’s tree is decorated by members of Sonning Common youth club but this wasn’t possible this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was left to me this year,” said Mr Weston. “The youth club kindly donated their decorations so hopefully everyone likes it.”

Parish clerk Philip Collings said he hoped members of the youth club would be able to put some extra decorations on the tree when it was safe to so do.

He said: “We started having a Christmas tree here nine years ago and we are very pleased to be carrying on the tradition.

“It was really nice to have this year’s grown and donated by Jean.”

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