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Bury St Edmunds Christmas trees decorated with stars featuring positive memories of lockdown




Your uplifting memories of experiences learnt, taught and loved during lockdown have adorned a Christmas tree in Bury St Edmunds.

The Bury Free Press joined forces with arts group The Crafty Foxes to give readers the chance to submit their positive memories of the first national shutdown to appear on ceramic stars.

After you submitted 88 entries, Crafty Foxes chose just over 50 to decorate the Christmas tree outside the Theatre Royal, in Westgate Street.

Tracey Butcher and Michelle Freeman (The Crafty Foxes), with Austin Cornish (owner of Bury Developments) and Melanie Lesser (chair of Bury St Edmunds and Beyond). Picture by Mecha Morton
Tracey Butcher and Michelle Freeman (The Crafty Foxes), with Austin Cornish (owner of Bury Developments) and Melanie Lesser (chair of Bury St Edmunds and Beyond). Picture by Mecha Morton

It was part of ‘The Stars of 2020’ project, which saw school children reflect on their own lockdown memories for the Christmas tree ornaments.

Stars with messages from Tollgate Primary pupils have been placed on the tree on Angel Hill, while those from St Edmund’s Catholic Primary have decorated the tree in The Traverse.

Meanwhile, stars from Guildhall Feoffment Primary will adorn the tree at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

A banner featuring Bury Free Press readers' lockdown memories
A banner featuring Bury Free Press readers' lockdown memories

The stars were placed on the trees on Monday on Angel Hill and The Traverse by Melanie Lesser, chair of Bury St Edmunds and Beyond; Michelle Freeman, of the Crafty Foxes, Clive Collins on a cherry picker provided by Austin Cornish, of Bury Developments, as well as volunteers Debbie Anthistle and Tracey Butcher.

Staff from the Theatre Royal decorated their tree.

Melanie said she had wanted for some time to have decorations on the town’s Christmas trees and Michelle had an idea to run a project with children inspired by lockdown.

“People are looking for positivity at the moment and they feel very warm when they read the messages,” Melanie said. “It’s a real community spirit.”

Emily Edison with Hetty (22 months). Picture by Mecha Morton
Emily Edison with Hetty (22 months). Picture by Mecha Morton

Michelle added: “The response was overwhelming and I think it’s really useful to remind ourselves this year hasn’t been all bad.”

She thanked West Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council for their funding.

Memories from readers included a new dog, indoor bar crawl, clapping for the NHS, zumba by Zoom with lovely Jo, donating £1,000 to Riverwalk, adopting our daughter and that love is the greatest thing.

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