THE volunteer group responsible for Helensburgh’s festive lights display has promised that the town’s Christmas tree will be removed as soon as lockdown restrictions allow.

Colquhoun Square has been home to a 35ft fir tree, nicknamed Douglas, since November but some residents have questioned why it is still standing in its current worse for wear condition.

This week one local business owner called for the removal of the dead tree and out of date decorations before the area reopens to visitors.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Merry Christmas from Helensburgh - in April (Credit: Stephen Mackenzie/Twitter)Merry Christmas from Helensburgh - in April (Credit: Stephen Mackenzie/Twitter)

They said: “People can travel locally from April 2 - what will they think when they come to Helensburgh? That we’re a town that has no pride or respect for our amenities and don’t really care what anyone visiting thinks either?

“We’ll take your custom and your hard earned cash but can’t be bothered to create a proper welcome?

“Appalling and embarrassing to be a local trader.

IN PICTURES: The story of 'Douglas' and how Helensburgh got its Christmas tree

“No doubt Covid will be the excuse but I see no reason why - if we can hold a twice monthly market in the square then this removal can surely be arranged.”

A spokesperson for the Helensburgh Festive Lighting Charitable Trust, which has organised the display for more than a decade, confirmed that Covid lockdown restrictions are preventing equipment and personnel reaching the town from outside the local authority boundary to remove the tree.

The spokesperson told the Advertiser: “‘Douglas’ is indeed a sorry sight just now after his splendid performance in the square over the 10 weeks of the festive season.

“But of course Santa does not have a free pass to allow him to break the law pertaining to lockdown and neither do his local elves.

“So, they wait patiently until the regulations allow them to resume their work for the town and thank the community for their understanding in what has been a very difficult and frustrating year for everyone.

“Stay safe and look forward to better days soon.”

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