Sunday, November 11, 2012

Britain's tallest Christmas tree which stands at 27.5 metres high and sparkles with 100,000 bulbs

Decking the halls with boughs of holly and decorating the Christmas tree can often prove a stressful task for most households. But this year, spare a thought for the team of 12 men who spent seven days putting up Britain’s tallest artificial Christmas tree in Cheshire. Standing 27.5metres (90ft) tall, and 10metres (32ft) across, the mammoth structure is decorated with nine kilometres of white fairy lights made from 100,000 LED bulbs, 1,000 football-sized red baubles and another 20,000 smaller ones. On top, there’s an extra two kilometres of cabling and everything is held together with half a ton of nuts and bolts.
And to top it all, the lights only burn half the amount of electricity that an average house uses each day. The tree, at Cheshire Oaks, the UK’s largest outlet shopping centre, near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire is worth £100,000 and can be seen for miles. It sits on concrete piles sunk, twelve metres into the bedrock below.
Project Manager for Springfield Decorations John Vasey said: ‘The decorations alone weigh six tons.
‘It’s so large we had to get planning permission for it – we even had to check to see if we needed to put a red light on top so aircraft didn’t fly into it 'It’s engineered to withstand a one-in-one-hundred-year storm and will cope with many tons of snow.’ Springfield Decorations are based in Guildford, Surrey and employ 60 decorators who began decorating stores, shopping centres, airports and ice rinks across Britain in September.
Mr Vasey added: 'We start in September – fitting the rigging to the outsides of some stores, getting them ready for the decorations. The first ones began going up at the start of October this year. John Lewis stores were the first to put theirs up. We mainly work at night and haven’t had a day off in six weeks. 'We’ll start taking them down in Harrods before Christmas – so they’ll be gone for their Boxing Day sale. Then preparations for next year’s designs and decorations will start again in June. Speaking about his own Christmas tree, Mr Vasey said: 'We have a very traditional real tree at home – no plastic on it. I usually decorate it on about the 23rd. One year I brought some LED lights home to put on it but my children said ‘Dad this isn’t a shopping centre’ so we just stick to our old-fashioned twenty-year-old lights'.

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