Calling the army in to help get Christmas started

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IT was such a big job - they had to call the Army in to do it.

But a 20ft Nordman fir Christmas tree is now safely in place at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire. Members of the 21 Royal Engineer Regiment from Claro Banks, Ripon, helped erect the tree, decorated with lights and a star on top, in the visitor centre courtyard on Thursday.

Members of the 21 Royal Engineers from Claro Banks in Ripon,  erect the Fountains Abbey tree.''''Picture James Hardisty

Members of the 21 Royal Engineers from Claro Banks in Ripon, erect the Fountains Abbey tree.''''Picture James Hardisty

The marketing and visitor experience manager at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Alexa Morton, said: “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the local Army regiment lending us a hand putting up our magnificent Christmas tree. We’ve been busy this week getting everything ready for the festive season, but we need quite a bit of extra muscle to handle this tree into place.

“As soon as it goes up we really feel like Christmas is here.”

Staff Sergeant Lee Payne, of the regiment, added: “The Corps of Royal Engineers have a long standing relationship with Ripon and are very proud to have the Freedom of the City. Activities like this help to reinforce the bonds between the soldiers of the regiment and the local community.”

Members of the 21 Royal Engineers from Claro Banks in Ripon,  erect the Fountains Abbey tree.''''Picture James Hardisty

Members of the 21 Royal Engineers from Claro Banks in Ripon, erect the Fountains Abbey tree.''''Picture James Hardisty