The tree attracts a lot of attention in the village and for many years we have raised money for various charities. We first had a lighting up ceremony in 2009, when Kay Alexander of Midlands Today kindly came to switch them on. Since then our tree has raised money for many different charities, including the Alzheimer’s Society, Help for Heroes, First Responders, Cancer Research UK, The Stroke Association, St. Richard’s Hospice, the Acorn Children’s Hospice, The Lighthouse Charity, Midlands Air Ambulance, and the Cardiac Care Unit of Royal Hospital (who saved Chris’s life when he had a heart attack).
Like the tree, the lighting up event has grown over the years. With the kind assistance of friends and neighbours we serve coffee and mince pies, warmed in the smokebox of Paul Davis’s Foden steam lorry or traction engine; a fairground organ playing festive music and fireworks. This last year (2019) we had an 1890s children’s roundabout through the kind generosity of sponsors. It was enormously successful!
And generosity has been, over the years, very humbling to Chris and I. The generosity of Paul Davis, of Mike Green with his fairground organ, of the many helpers, and especially the generosity of the people of Inkberrow in raising substantial amounts for our chosen charities. Thank you, all of you,!
Over the years the tree has attracted substantial media attention, both in the press and on radio and television. It has been twice featured on BBC Midlands Today, twice on ITV Central News, ITN network news, and a number of times on BBC Hereford & Worcester local radio. In 2018 the tree also featured in a BBC Christmas food programme. Some of the press coverage has been so bizarrely inaccurate it’s made us laugh but, as they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity, and providing it raises more money for charity we’re happy.
Now 42 years old and 50+ ft high our tree is showing its age – as, of course are Chris and I! But as long as we still live at Laxford House and remain fit and able, the tree will be lit over the Christmas period and we hope it will bring a lot of pleasure to everyone who sees it and continue to raise a lot of money for charity.