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Ipswich shoppers and town leaders show support for return of real Christmas tree to Cornhill

PUBLISHED: 11:45 02 November 2017

Find out when your town's Christmas lights are being switched on. Picture: JAMIE NIBLOCK

Find out when your town's Christmas lights are being switched on. Picture: JAMIE NIBLOCK

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Shoppers across Ipswich have expressed their delight at the return of a traditional Christmas tree on the Cornhill this year, as a survey carried out by this newspaper has revealed that nine in 10 people are happy to see the tree return.

A real Christmas Tree stood on the Cornhill in Ipswich in 2009. Picture: PHIL MORLEY A real Christmas Tree stood on the Cornhill in Ipswich in 2009. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The Ipswich Star yesterday confirmed that a real tree would be provided by Ipswich Central for the Cornhill, while the existing artificial bauble one would be put up by the question mark sculpture at the University of Suffolk on the Waterfront.

After breaking the news yesterday, hundreds of you took to social media to share your thoughts and take part in our poll.

Well over 800 people took part in our poll, with 91% saying they thought the return of the real tree was the right decision.

Terry Baxter, Ipswich Central chairman, said: “We are delighted [with the feedback]. It’s clear from a town centre point of view we need a statement tree in the heart of the Cornhill.

The bauble tree that previously stood in Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: CONTRIBUTED The bauble tree that previously stood in Ipswich Cornhill. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“Without giving too much away ahead of the unveiling, I think we can safely say that those who come to Ipswich, and we hope there will be many, will see a tree that makes a real statement in the town centre.”

The tree is coming from Elveden Forest, and will be lit up in a special switch-on event from 6.45pm on Thursday, November 16, organised by Ipswich Borough Council.

The artificial tree is being put up on Wednesday night next week, but will be lit at the same time as the main tree on November 16.

In December, the Christmas Market will return to the town centre on the 8, 9 and 10, where scores of stalls will line the streets around Giles Circus and Queen Street selling festive food, drink, decorations, gifts, sweets, hot food and other goodies.

Terry Baxter said the tree would prove to be popular. Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK Terry Baxter said the tree would prove to be popular. Picture: INSPIRE SUFFOLK

A funfair will also be on hand for families to enjoy as well as live entertainment and a children’s craft fair.

Entry is free for the market and £5 for the children’s craft fair.

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: “I am pleased that so many Star readers have expressed an opinion on the Christmas arrangements.

“I believe residents and visitors to the town now have the best of both worlds, with a traditional tree on the Cornhill and the modern artificial tree on the Waterfront. We are all looking forward to the big switch-on and a successful festive season.”

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