Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Christmas tree too big to put up

A crane driver tries to hoist the tree into place
Monday's lighting-up ceremony has had to be postponed

A lighting-up ceremony of a Christmas tree in Swindon has had to be postponed after the tree broke the base it was being mounted on.

Council officials had asked for a 40ft (12m) tree as the centrepiece for the town's "magic roundabout", but a 50ft (15m) tree was delivered instead.

When contractors tried to lift it on to the specially-made plinth for Monday's switch-on the base fractured.

A second attempt at putting the tree up is due to take place on Wednesday.

Councillor Roderick Bluh, Swindon Borough Council leader, said: "The height of the tree was not the problem when we tried to put up the tree on Sunday.

"Unfortunately the tree got caught on part of the concrete base, which caused the base to crack.

"It would therefore have been unsafe to continue.

"We have now modified the base design and hope that, with a bit of magic, the impressive tree decorated with 5,500 lights will be ready to be switched on by myself and representatives from V Cars on Thursday at 8pm."

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