05 January 2013
Tuesday 27 November
By the time we began “stripping” the Church on the morning of Tuesday 27 November to make way for delivery of the trees on the afternoon, work had already started on putting up the lights and providing supplies for the tree lights. It was a hive of activity as people dismantled and “hid” items around the Church, and tables were brought up from the Parish Hall and covered, ready for the trees to arrive. At 1.00 pm, the delivery of 52 four foot high trees, and one 14’ high tree, arrived at the Church. By 4.00 pm all trees were set in their stands and left to dry out overnight before being put in place. This was all completed so quickly, you would think people had done this before!!!!
Wednesday 28 November
Work started at 8.00 am on the morning, putting the trees in place, so they were ready for sponsors to start decorating from 10.00 am. By 10.00 all trees, barring one, were decorated and looking good.
Thursday 29 November
The Festival opened to the public at 10.30 am for viewing prior to the official launch on the night. There were over 100 people at the launch event, and the Festival was officially opened by Cllr Denise Bunn, Mayor of Redcar & Cleveland, and Cllr Malcolm Griffiths, the Guisborough Town Mayor.
Friday 30 November
Besides being open during the day, Highcliffe Primary School entertained relatives and visitors to the Festival with a carol concert. The Festival re-opened on the evening for public viewing, while St Nicholas Choir provided background Advent and carol singing.
Saturday 1 December
Saturday was family day, with many activities for children and families, including face painting, children’s crafts, and colouring competition, with a special appearance by Micky and Minnie Mouse, which generated much interest. The evening saw a Christmas concert by Cleveland Police Band.
Sunday 2 December
Another busy day with visitors throughout the day, and the Christingle Service at 5.00 pm.
Monday 3 December
A busy day, followed by an even busier night as we were entertained with a very well attended Christmas concert by the Apollo Male Voice Choir, with a surprise performance from the Guisborough U3A Singing for Pleasure Choir. A good night was had by all. The Apollo did not charge a fee for their performance, but were delighted with their retiring collection of £204 from the audience.
Tuesday 4 December
Tuesday saw our busiest day of the festival, with over 800 visitors. During the day we had three carol concerts, provided by Galley Hill, St Paulinus, and Belmont primary schools, providing entertainment for relatives and visitors. The Festival opened late, as it was the Guisborough Christmas Parade and Christmas Light switch-on, and late night shopping. The evening was very busy, and included a children’s Nativity Treasure Hunt competition.
Wednesday 5 December
Wednesday meant that we had to dismantle the Festival. Sponsors collected their trees and decorations, the tree needles were swept up, and the Church returned to ‘normal’. The end of a week of effort by so many people, that had passed all to quickly.
Over the 6 days there were more than 2,000 visits to the Church to see the Festival and over £2,000 was raised.
So it’s over, and what can we say, but thank you. However, “Thank You” are two small words that can never express the enormous gratitude of the Christmas Tree Festival Organising Group for the hard work and endeavour of so many who have helped in so many ways to ensure that not only did the Festival happen, but that it was successful and appreciated by so many.
On a final note, the winners:
Best Decorated Christmas Tree winners were:
• School & Colleges Category - Belmont Primary School
• Community Group Category - Gisborough Priory Project
• Business Category - Priory Coffee House & Bistro
• Church Group Category - St Nicholas Choir
Colouring Competition winners were:
• Under 5 years - Nia Ward (Age 4)
• 5-7 years - Emma Palmer (Age 7)
• 8-10 years - Lily Duffty (Age 8)
Nativity Treasure Hunt Competition winner:
• Rosie Neville (Age 5)