Christmas tree festival 'down to wire' as wait continues for stock

The Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival is going online Picture: Sonya Duncan

Fakenham’s Christmas Tree Festival is set to start on November 25 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2018

Preparations for a Christmas tree festival are set to go down to the wire - with the trees being delivered just a day before it launches. 

Organisers of Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival, which is due to start on November 25, are still waiting for 42 trees to be delivered.

Various charities are anxiously waiting for their arrival so they can begin decorating at the town's parish church. 

The spectacular sight of trees lit up at 2016's Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

The spectacular sight of trees lit up at 2016's Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A national shortage of lorry drivers nationally has continued to plague delivery routes and supply chains across the country. 

The trees, which are all donated by Fakenham Garden Centre, were scheduled to be delivered this week.

They should still arrive at the church on Wednesday (November 24), a day before the festival launches, but the festival committee will need to invite charities in the afternoon before they spend the evening decorating. 

However, Wednesday's grand switch-on event, which had been set to feature the Bishop of Lynn, has been cancelled. 

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Roger Burbridge, a committee member for the festival, said: “We have been told that the lorry they are on is the first delivery, and that the delivery people know the importance of it.

Roger Burbridge, 78, from Fakenham.

Roger Burbridge, 78, from Fakenham. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

“Most of the charities do not need more than a couple of hours to set up their trees. We are ready to go through the evening on Wednesday to allow the charities to get their trees decorated.

“We are in other people’s hands. We have got everything ready on our side and ready to go when the trees are ready.

“The charities are on alert, so as soon as the trees arrive they will be informed.

“The garden centre donates all these trees and we will never criticise them. They are very helpful and doing all they can to help us.”

The Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival at the Parish Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival at the Parish Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

A spokesman for Fakenham Garden Centre added: "There are not enough drivers; everything is out of our hands.

"The trees are coming but, unfortunately, it is just the case that it isn’t as easy anymore.

“It is close to the wire, but the festival will still go ahead with support from the garden centre."

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