Christmas centre piece washed into harbour

THE celebrations for its lighting had no sooner finished when Anstruther’s Christmas tree was swept into the harbour by more freak storms.

The area was, again, the victim of ferocious wind and rain towards the end of last week, with coastal areas particularly affected.

Flood warnings were put into place, and Anstruther was among the most seriously hit local communities.

And no area was more affected than at the harbour, where the Burgh’s Christmas tree was toppled by the storms, before falling into the water.

Residents had been celebrating the tree’s lights being switched on a couple of weekends before.

The tree was gifted by Toby Anstruther and the Balcaskie Estate.

Local people themselves had rallied round to do their part and had raised the funds to buy new LED lighting.

Local woman Gail Sorley told the Mail: “The tree was just lifted up and taken away into the harbour by the storms.

“The waves looked as if they were coming up about 20 foot high.”

The people of Anstruther had dedicated a lot of their time to their Christmas preparations, with the ultimate irony being the centre-piece looked as if it wouldn’t be standing on the day itself.

However, the local RNLI service, which is more used to rescuing people on stricken vessels, came to the rescue and hauled the tree from the harbour on Friday.

It was then pulled up the slip-way before residents made efforts to have it standing again in time for Christmas Day.

New decorative lighting was spread from lamppost to lamppost at the switching on of the lights ceremony itself, where choir singers and dancers ensured the evening went with a sparkle.

Other communities also suffered from the storms, with north Fife and Tayside communities witnessing more severe flooding.

Pictured are the celebrations at Anstruther’s recent Christmas tree lighting event, with the tree in the background as the showpiece. (Picture by Walter Neilson, 5012276)