Tree-mendous festive boost

Ben Whatling (contract manager at Seamans), Julia Troy and Lauren Leppard (from Sahara), Mark Cordell (of Ourburystedmunds) and Melvin Cocksedge (Rougham Estate)
Ben Whatling (contract manager at Seamans), Julia Troy and Lauren Leppard (from Sahara), Mark Cordell (of Ourburystedmunds) and Melvin Cocksedge (Rougham Estate)
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Shoppers visiting The Traverse in Bury St Edmunds will be greeted by two Christmas trees this year.

Building work following the Cupola House fire of 2012 meant the street was unable to display a tree in its usual place, but this year the area’s traditional festive feel has returned.

Collaboration between Bury’s Business Improvement District Ourburystedmunds and contractors Seamans Building saw two Norway Spruce trees - donated by the Rougham Estate - installed on Wednesday, ahead of yesterday’s Christmas lights switch-on.

Ben Whatling, of Seamans, said: “We’re very grateful to everyone who uses The Traverse and especially the businesses here for their patience and understanding throughout this restoration work, which for an historic building like this and given the level of fire damage was never going to be a quick project.

“I know that some felt the last two Christmas periods were more difficult for them because of this work and that’s why we were very keen to work with Ourburystedmunds to brighten up the area this Christmas.”

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Ourburystedmunds, said the lit trees would ‘play a prominent role in promoting The Traverse during a very important trading period for the businesses’.

He said: “I know that the businesses in The Traverse have been concerned about the lack of the usual Christmas tree over the past two years due to the work on the Cupola House, so I’m sure they will welcome these two trees as part of this year’s decoration offering for the town.

“I very much appreciate the understanding and co-operation provided by Seamans Building which has taken the trouble to provide a platform for the trees.”

Melvin Cocksedge, from the Rougham Estate, said: “As there hasn’t been a tree in this part of town since the fire we’re delighted to be able to provide two this year.”

On the progress of work to Cupola House, Simon Marks, of architect firm Purcell, said: “The reconstruction of the north chimney has commenced and the steel work installation is progressing.”