Ladies from The Chauntry Group put the finishing touches to their tree. 011217TV1-3
Ladies from The Chauntry Group put the finishing touches to their tree. 011217TV1-3

A record 136 trees have been decorated for the tenth annual Christmas Tree Festival at Newark Parish Church.

The festival opened on Saturday and continues until this Sunday.

The organiser, Miss Rita McCall, said the first festival involved about 30 trees decorated by schoolchildren and youth organisations.

Pupils from years one and two at Winthorpe Primary School and the head, Mr Rob Cook, with their tree, inspired by the school emblem. 011217TV1-19
Pupils from years one and two at Winthorpe Primary School and the head, Mr Rob Cook, with their tree, inspired by the school emblem. 011217TV1-19

It has gradually grown and now involves all ages and sections of the community.

“The standard of trees, as ever, amazes me,” she said.

“People come up with so many new ideas and they normally make everything themselves.”

Gareth Arbourne and Olivia Utton with the Advertiser Media Group's tree
Gareth Arbourne and Olivia Utton with the Advertiser Media Group's tree

The Advertiser Media Group's tree used photographs from its archives of past Christmases, and included a scaled-down copy of The Advertiser from December 24, 1966.

There were also miniature versions of the calendar it is currently selling, called "Newark: Down Memory Lane".

Newark Dementia Carers Group takes part every year.

Secretary Mrs Christine Davidson said: “It is a good way of promoting the group, alongside being a good thing for the community by raising money for the church.”

They decorated their tree with knitted owls — the group’s logo — which were made by member Rose Brown.

Members of Newark Business Club decorate their tree. 011217TV1-20
Members of Newark Business Club decorate their tree. 011217TV1-20

Tuesday Quilters, who meet at Millgate Community Centre, Newark, made more than 100 decorations that will be sold for charity once the festival is over.

Mrs Joyce Marshall and (right) Mrs Pat Bartley, of the Tuesday Quilters group, which meets in Newark. 011217TV1-6
Mrs Joyce Marshall and (right) Mrs Pat Bartley, of the Tuesday Quilters group, which meets in Newark. 011217TV1-6

“We enjoy making new ones each year,” Mrs Pat Bartley said.

“The church is a lovely place to a have a festival and is a good opportunity for people to show off what they do.”

The Newark In Bloom committee decorated their tree with gold decorations to reflect their gold award in this year’s East Midlands In Bloom contest.

Members of the Newark In Bloom committee with their tree that reflected the group’s gold East Midlands In Bloom award. 011217TV1-1
Members of the Newark In Bloom committee with their tree that reflected the group’s gold East Midlands In Bloom award. 011217TV1-1

“In the past we have used silver at the bottom and gold at the top to reflect that we were going for gold,” said committee secretary Mrs Gillie Wilkinson.

“This year we have been able to use all gold.”    

Margaret Catley, of the Newark Heritage Barge project, decorated their tree with mini-lifebuoys.

Margaret Catley, of the Newark Heritage Barge project, with the group’s nautical-themed tree.  011217TV1-2
Margaret Catley, of the Newark Heritage Barge project, with the group’s nautical-themed tree. 011217TV1-2

“This is a magical festival and attracts a lot of people. I just wish it could be held for a bit longer,” she said.  

My Sight Newark were among newcomers to the festival. Members with sight loss made baubles for their tree and visited the festival on Tuesday.

Sandy Horton with the tree decorated by the My Sight Newark group. 011217TV1-16
Sandy Horton with the tree decorated by the My Sight Newark group. 011217TV1-16

Churches Together In Newark decorated their tree with tea cups as a sign of welcome.

Mrs Carol Tweedale, of Churches Together In Newark, with their tree decorated with tea cups as a sign of welcome. 011217TV1-21
Mrs Carol Tweedale, of Churches Together In Newark, with their tree decorated with tea cups as a sign of welcome. 011217TV1-21

Carole Tweedale said: “We held a workshop where members of different churches were able to make the tea cup decorations.”

With the tree decorated by Dean Hole Church of England School, Caunton, are pupils, left to right, Moira Taylor, 9, Ella Thomas, 10, and Sophie Whittaker, 9. 011217TV1-26
With the tree decorated by Dean Hole Church of England School, Caunton, are pupils, left to right, Moira Taylor, 9, Ella Thomas, 10, and Sophie Whittaker, 9. 011217TV1-26
Elf versions of partner Mark Chatterton, deputy managing director Ian Phillips and director Simon Shaw were hard at work next to the Duncan & Toplis Chartered Accountants tree.
Elf versions of partner Mark Chatterton, deputy managing director Ian Phillips and director Simon Shaw were hard at work next to the Duncan & Toplis Chartered Accountants tree.

The festival is open today and tomorrow from 10am to 4.30pm; on Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm; and on Sunday from 10am to 4.30pm. Admission is £2 for adults and 20p for children.

The event finishes with a Carols Of Praise service at 5pm on Sunday.