A Christmas night out in Darlington more than twenty years ago sparked a chain of events that has
changed the look of Darlington’s Christmas tree for the past two decades.
Tony Cooper, Director of Darlington house building company, Bussey and Armstrong, was in town when
he noticed the wire fencing around the tree, put up to prevent people attempting to climb it. He said:
“It was a beautiful tree but the fencing around the base didn’t do it justice at all. The next day I
contacted the council’s events team and offered to provide a solution. I commissioned local blacksmith
Brian Russell of Little Newsham Forge to come up with a design for a tree surround that would be nice
to look at but effective at keeping would be tree climbers at bay.
“Brian does a lot of work for us and he is an exceptional craftsman. We were delighted with his design
for the tree surround and his work has stood the test of time, we haven’t even had to repaint it. Our
team puts it in place every year when the tree goes up and takes it away again at the end of the season.
“We’re Darlington’s longest established house builder and for the last one hundred years, have only
ever built houses in the borough. We are passionate about the town and are always happy to support
the local community and the council with their events.”
Councillor Jamie Bartch, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy added:
“The tree surround is now something that everyone takes for granted, it’s become part of the Christmas
tradition in the town with many a family standing alongside the festive railings for a keepsake photo.
“It’s a great example of how we work with our business community to use their skills and expertise and
goodwill to improve what we offer. Our events team works in partnership with local businesses to
deliver the full programme of wonderful events throughout the year, we depend on their generous
support and thank each and every one of them.”
This year’s tree is 35 feet tall and was grown in Solihull. It was decorated by the Silver Bells Designs
Team and has 7500 warm white lights.
Free family festive events continue in the town with the popular Ice Sculpture trail on Saturday 3 and 10
December, the free ice rink comes to town from 17 to 22 December and magical characters of Olaf, Elsa,
Anna and Tinkerbell will be in town from 11am-3pm to spread some Christmas magic on Thursday 22