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While the new modern Christmas tree is causing controversy among town residents, elsewhere across the globe similar festive displays have be welcomed with open arms.

Made up of 41 aluminium spheres covered with more than 40,000 low energy LED lights, the tree continues to split public opinion with visitors either loving it or hating it.

But the makers of the festive feature today told The Ipswich Star they have never received such a mixed response on their Yuletide creation.

Blachere Illumination, the company behind the tree based in Gloucestershire, have put up similar creations up around France, including Paris’ business district La Defense, and in the Portuguese destination of Lisbon.

The tree by numbers

– It is made up of 41 aluminium spheres

– 40,000 low energy LED lights are used on the sparkling creation

– The tree was brought over to Ipswich from France on two arctic lorries.

– More than 5,000 people packed onto the town’s Cornhill for the light switch on

Paul Crompton, project manager for Blachere Illumination, said he was pleased the tree was a talking point in the town.

“We were surprised to the response we have had in Ipswich,” he said. “We haven’t had anything like this before so I have taken an interest in what people have been saying.

“We have similar trees in Paris, Canada, and a massive one in Lisbon and the general reception there has been that people love them.”

Mr Crompton attended the light switch-on in the town after an overnight operation to surprise town residents by putting up the tree in the early hours of November 25.

“When we were first approached by Ipswich Central we were asked to create something modern, new and exciting which would get people visiting the town.

“It is a bespoke tree and the lights across the town such as the ones in Carr Street and Tavern Street, all stem back to the tree which is the centrepiece.

“The lights and tree all work together but you can’t please everyone I guess.

“I was there for the light switch on and I could hear some people around me saying how much they liked them and then others seemed unsure.

“The reaction has definitely been interesting.”

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, previously said: “This is the most talked about tree in East Anglia, probably in the UK this year.”

In total, £100,000 has been invested in the lights, which stretch through the town down to the Waterfront.

The cash for the decorations has come from Ipswich Central and Ipswich Borough Council.

The lights and the tree will be in place until January 5.

12 comments

  • I think the lights are fabulous. We finally have lights in the town we can be proud of.

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    Clare07887

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Wasn't sure at first but now like it.It's different and certainly a talking point which is good news surely for the town centre.Also it's a great improvement on the usual bedraggled specimen we normally have which usually looks pathetic!

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    Mary Mary

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • The Council can find money for christmas decorations, but Felixstowe may be losing its Fire Service. That's logical..

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    MrCommonSense

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • They "trees" had an even longer journey as they came from France on two arctic lorries!! :-P

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    Me 2

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Just read by the side of the Mann story,this thing (not a tree , a tree is a plant) came from France on two artics, theses vehicle,s average. 8 mph,and our council and ipswich central tell us to buy local! Green energy

    Report this comment

    richard procter

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • these are not christmas lights they are another way of kicking our tradital christmas into touch.bring back a proper tree proper christmas lights and the true meaning of christmas.!!!

    Report this comment

    John Spinks

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • Everyone seems to be losing sight of that fact that Ipswich finally has Christmas lights they can be proud of. And all this "buy local" talk makes me laugh. I think I'm right in saying that a local company has done the job for all the years previously and the lights have always been absolutely rubbish! Thankfully the council don't share the "small town" attitude of most of its inhabitants. Besides, I'm pretty sure companies have to tender for this kind of thing, so the council chose the best option put before them for he good of the town and I, for one, say a big WELL DONE!

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    Clare07887

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • The money for decorations came from the council and ipswich central,no it did not it came from taxpayers like me,and I wanted a traditional CHRISTMAS tree,I do not understand why our traditions and culture is changing and we taxpayers do not get asked how the council is allowed to waste our money!

    Report this comment

    richard procter

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • It is NOT a Christmas tree ,..it is a piece of Illuminated modern art..Impressive yes , but it is not a CHRISTMAS TREE..so far in Ipswich 'decorations' I have not seen any 'symbols' of Xmas ..no Bells No Santa's , No Stars or Snowflakes, WHY??.. It seems we are moving away from the Traditional Xmas and all the values that go hand in hand with it....

    Report this comment

    ukmartian

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

  • Moan, moan, moan as per usual.

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    Davin

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • I really liked the new Christmas lights when they went up, classy, elegant and modern (with the exclusion of the "tree" which is an abomination). However, having visited Colchester they somewhat lost their sparkle when I realised they had identical lights! It is also a shame a local company wasn't offered the opportunity of doing this work, rather than going to a larger company that is obviously churning out the same lights for town after town after country after country...

    Report this comment

    Emmy Lou

    Monday, December 3, 2012

  • I think the lights are fabulous. We finally have lights in the town we can be proud of.

    Report this comment

    Clare07887

    Monday, December 3, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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