Unconventional festive fir brings traditional Christmas cheer to passengers in Aylmerton

Waiting for the bus at a north Norfolk village is given a festive feel by a local community hero.

Passengers' time in the Aylmerton bus shelter is brightened by a trimmed Christmas tree provided by local mum Pauline Arnold.

Every year she goes beyond the tradition of decorating her house and places a tree in the village bus stop, complete with festive frosting.

And since its first appearance in 2003 the tree has become a recognised festive feature which residents look forward to seeing.

Mrs Arnold, 51, said: 'It's a feel-good factor. It brings a smile to my face whenever I go past, simply because it's not the norm.'

But it is not just during December that the shelter gets a spruce up as throughout the year Mrs Arnold - who was commended at this year's Victory Housing community hero awards - keeps it looking bright and inviting for bus passengers by adorning it with flowers.

She was spurred into action to make over the former drab looking stop in 2003 and enlisted the help of children from the village to replace its seat, give it a lick of paint, replace its roof and install various hanging baskets and flower pots. The Christmas tree, however was an unexpected addition but has gone on to become an anticipated tradition.

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Mrs Arnold said: 'My friend won a Christmas tree and said 'what do we do with this?' and I said as a laugh let's shove it up here. And then the next year people said 'when are you putting the tree up?'

'It's never been vandalised and I think it's nice that something like this can sit here untouched, and it's a credit to the kids.'

This year's fir was donated to by a local layby stall holder and all its decorations are recycled from previous years.

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