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Friday Fact: Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree costs £1.00

An old photo showing a Vanguard crane installing the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square.

The Christmas Tree on Trafalgar square which has grown to be a focal point for the season costs exactly £1.00. Including delivery.

Since 1947 as a token of gratitude for the British support Norway received during the Second World War, the city of Oslo sends London an annual gift: a two ton Christmas tree to put in Trafalgar Square. The tree is a picea abies, more commonly known as a Norway spruce, and it can grow up to 200 feet tall. The Christmas tree sent to us is typically fifty years old and roughly 20 meters tall. It gets cut in November during a ceremony attended my the British Ambassador of Norway, the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Mayor of Oslo.

Then the tree starts its journey on sea to Felixstowe Docks. Vanguard have undertaken the movement of the tree from the docks to Trafalgar since the early 80`s for a £1.00 charge. Once it is there, it is lowered in a specially constructed socket, gets decorated by 500 white lights which are switched on on the first Thursday of December to mark the beginning of the Festive season. The decoration itself reflects Norwegian traditions. The ceremony is led by the Lord Mayor of Westminster and usually attended by thousands of spectators. There is a band and a choir performing, lights, laughter, wonderful festive spirit and hopefully something to keep you warm.

The Christmas tree is a central point for groups and singers performing Christmas carols. Not only a spectacular sight, it is also a symbol of the season and a memento of the nation`s good deeds.
The tree then stays there until the Twelfth Night of Christmas, the end of Christmastide.

And that is how you get a Christmas Tree for £1.00.

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