Souters shocked at tiny Christmas tree

Selkirk residents were in a festive fury last week as Scottish Borders Council installed a tiny tree in the newly-refurbished Market Place.

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 4:30 pm
Selkirk's Christmas Tree, dwarfed by the statue of Sir Walter Scott.

It follows the local authority’s warning last month that Christmas trees supplied to towns would be 10ft shorter than the normal 30ft trees this year due to problems in sourcing larger ones.

However, when the tree was delivered, Souters reeled at the paltry offering, which looked as if it was barely 12ft tall.

Photographer Grant Kinghorn took a photo of the skinny pine, dwarfed by the statue of Sir Walter Scott.

In contrast to Selkirk's tree, Melrose's offering shows quality in every inch of its 20ft.

He posted it on social media, saying: “New game in Selkirk Market Place over Christmas ... spot the Christmas tree”

It sparked several derisory comments.

Vicki MacFarlane said simply: “It’s a disgrace.”

Stuart Hogarth added: “We should start a crowdfunder and buy our own ... that’s embarrassing to say the least.”

Greg McLeod said: “Seemingly every town’s getting a 20ft tree ... that looks about 12ft.”

Douglas Anderson suggested: “Instead of a competition for youngsters to stand on the wall and push the big red button to switch it on, why don’t we get the winning youngster just to stand on the wall and stick a fairy on top? Wouldn’t need a ladder.”

And Tucker McCall joked: “Just twigged how wee that dwarf conifer is ...”

The situation wasn’t helped when someone added a photo of Melrose’s tree, which boasted much more foliage, and Steven Heatlie said: “That’s absolutely disgusting ... typical, Melrose gets it again.”

But not everyone was disappointed.

Chris Fairbairn wrote: “Personally think it’s a tasteful size. No doubt if it was too big you’d complain it was covering Sir Walter Scott monument. No pleasing some folks.”

And Lindsay Carrick said: “Don’t actually mind it to be honest.”

Louise Stephen from the Town Arms pub wasn’t sure if it was for real.

She said: “We all had a good laugh in the pub this afternoon when it was getting put up. We thought it was a joke and they’d come wi the proper one later.”

It turns out it was not so much a joke as a mistake, and it would be replaced by another tree, which would not be over 20ft, but would be bushier.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The supplier provided the wrong tree – as the tree was wrapped in a netting, it was not apparent until it was installed.

The supplier has agreed to take back the first tree, and replace it with a bushier version, as had been originally ordered.

“There will be no additional cost to the council.”