Christmas saved in Kearsley

6:00am Saturday 7th December 2013

By Jeremy Culley

CHRISTMAS has been saved in Kearsley.

Last year the town’s traditional Christmas tree outside the town hall was missing after the sale of the building to developers.

But fears that the festive spirit would once more be lacking in Kearsley are over, with a new spot for the tree found outside Kearsley Mount Methodist Church, in Manchester Road.

The unveiling took place with Churches on the Mount (COM), St Stephen’s Primary School and Neil Turner and Jamie Arden who were behind the scheme.

Bolton Council supplied the lights for the tree, while the £450 cost of the tree and its positioning has been halved between the Kearsley area forum and those behind the project.

Councillors attended the ceremony which included a brass band and the choir from St Stephen’s school.

Mr Turner, aged 38, whose daughter attends St Stephen’s, which is opposite the tree’s site, said: “Myself and Jamie first thought about it in November.

“We have both always lived in Kearsley and there has been a tree outside the town hall for years.

“We just thought, after last year when we didn’t have one, could something be done, so we contacted the school and the churches and managed to reach this agreement.”

St Stephen’s works closely with the churches, which is why Mr Turner started the project by meeting the school’s headmaster Tony Lasan. Mr Arden supplied the 25-foot Christmas tree and arranged for the work putting up the tree to be done, along with another friend, Lee Patterson.

Stephen Tonge, chairman of COM, dealt with many of the logistics and negotiations, and said: “I’m delighted with this arrangement.

“With so many different figures of the area involved in this, it was a true community effort.”

Bolton Council were unable to find another public site for a tree, but agreed to supply lights for the one at the church.

It is hoped that a permanent home for a public tree will be found for next year.

Cllr Liam Irving, for Kearsley, said: “It’s terrific for local people after all the uproar with the town hall sale.”

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