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Muswell Hill businesses 'save Christmas' and fund tree a year after embarrassment

PUBLISHED: 15:58 04 October 2019

The 2018 Muswell Hill Christmas tree was not well-received. Picture: Supplied

The 2018 Muswell Hill Christmas tree was not well-received. Picture: Supplied

Archant

The "embarrassment" of 2018's Muswell Hill Christmas tree won't be repeated after a band of local businesses got together to raise enough money to provide a festive display to be proud of.

Businesses including Planet Organic, The Mossy Well pub, and the Hampstead Butcher and Providore are among those to have put their hands in their pockets as part of a crowdfunding effort.

The woman, a filmmaker, who had the idea to pull the community together and right last winter's wrong wishes to remain anonymous, but she said: "Last year, the Christmas tree wasn't a huge success. It went crazy on social media. I was speaking to a local business owner who said 'we'd have contributed, if someone had asked'.

"I thought I'd put my money where my mouth was, and decided to set up this crowdfunding drive."

Another of the local businesses contributing is Broadway Pets. Sue Wheatley, whose husband Nigel has run the store since 1973, told this newspaper: "We love to see the decorations on the street lights, and it's important to have a tree because the children love it - though we were a bit disappointed with it last year.

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"It just seemed a nice thing to do. We would like to think we're part of the community, and if it brings more people shopping then that's a good thing too!"

Another shopkeeper contributing is Walter Purkiss, who runs the eponymous fishmongers.

He told the Broadway: "The only reason I joined in was it seemed like a shopping area like Muswell Hill needed something appropriate!"

The businesses who, in the organiser's words "saved Christmas", also include Gail's, Jeroboam's and Pret A Vivre.

The filmmaker said that, while enough money had so far been raised in order to arrange for a Christmas Tree to be purchased and erected - it will be provided by the tree firm Pines and Needles - the fundraising in order to make the best possible festive display continued.

The crowdfunding page is available at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/muswellhillchristmastree

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