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Fish and a giant Christmas tree

The quayside at Immingham Dock on the Humber is a daily hive of activity, handling vast tonnages of FAS whitefish containers chiefly from Iceland, the Faroes and Norway, much of which goes to Grimsby and Hull for processing and distribution.

However, this week, Immingham handled a Norwegian cargo of a very different kind - the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, which each year makes its the journey from Norway to the UK by DFDS liner, ready for the last leg of the journey to London by road train.

A spokesperson for DFDS said: "Each year, the start of the Christmas season at Immingham is heralded by the arrival of a fresh 70ft Christmas tree destined for Trafalgar Square. Our stevedoring teams take enormous care with the unloading of the tree from the DFDS vessel when it arrives from our Norwegian port of Brevik, and the lifting of the tree onto the road train, secured to a specially-constructed wooden crib to ensure its safe and secure arrival in London ready for siting and decorating with low energy LED lighting in Trafalgar Square."

Image by Richard Dunn

A fresh 70ft (20 metre high) Norwagian spruce (Picea Abies) has been given as a gift each year since 1947 from Norway to the people of Britain as a symbol of gratitude and friendship in remembrance of the support and assistance given by Britain to Norway during the Second World War.

In 1940, Norway's King Haakon VII escaped to England as Germany invaded Norway and Norwegian Government headquarters were set up in London for 5 years - from where war news was broadcast in Norwegian, along with messages and information vital to the resistance movement in Norway - until the end of hostilities.

Each year during the war, the Norwegian resistance secretly sent a tree from Norway to make the King feel closer to his homeland.

The 500 low energy LED lights were switched on yesterday by the Mayor of Oslo, Norwegian Ambassador to Britain and Mayor of Westminster. 

The Christmas tree will remain in Trafalgar Square until just before the Twelfth Night of Christmas, when it is taken down, chipped and composted to make mulch.

Image by Richard Dunn


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