A magnificent blue-lit frost-effect Christmas tree that was constructed in the Country Durham town of Stanley, was quickly taken down a day after it was switched on by Emmerdale heartthrob Ross Adams over health and safety fears.
The 8ft tree, which cost £10,500 and was to be a beacon to attract shoppers into the town centre, was dismantled due to fears that its 240 volt power supply would electrocute the town folk.
John Reed, head of technical services at Durham County Council, said, “The tree purchased by Stanley Town Council was not safe for use in an unsupervised outdoor public display. Safety requirements specify a maximum voltage for such electrical equipment of 24 volts. In this case the tree had electrics which ran at 240 volts – 10 times the safe level.”
Almost 1,500 revellers turned out to see the switch on of the metal tree covered with thousands of blue lights, however it was fenced off for the duration of the event after Durham County Council realised it did not meet safety specifications.
Council clerk Russell Morgan said, “Modification work has been scheduled for January/February 2013 to ensure that the tree is fully operational in less controlled circumstances for many more Christmases to come and a range of suitable locations is being considered within the council’s wider regeneration strategy for the town centre.”