By Jason Kee
The festive celebrations may have been muted this past Christmas, but the SE23 (and SE4) communities enjoyed some great festive cheer with this season’s Christmas trees.
The tree decorating in Forest Hill outside WHSmith, organised through the Forest Hill Society, reached new heights in 2020 in both stature and decoration. For the second year in a row, local resident Lee Jackson, of design firm Jackson Morgenstern, designed and decorated the tree creating a flourish of seasonal reds, purples and golds.
However, there was little danger of a repeat of the great Forest Hill Hat Caper of 2019. This time, in the place of a Santa hat, three owls topped the tree and kept a wise vigil over Dartmouth and London Roads and the station’s forecourt. The owls were named “Hoot, Ann and Nanny” through a Twitter poll-beating stiff competition from “Blythe, Mayow, Horniman”, “Owly, McOwl, Face” and “Goldie, Frankie, Mervyn”.
The Forest Hill tree was big this season, but it was surpassed in height by a beautiful specimen on Perry Vale in the ‘Village’. Organised by councillors for Perry Vale ward, the tree’s decorations were kept simple and elegant, with strings of white lights.
Christmas trees also appeared by Honor Oak Park and Crofton Park stations, and were graciously donated by Crofton Park’s Clickmas Trees. These trees were a real community effort with decorations and lighting provided by local residents themselves. Some may have noted that the HOP tree was topped by a mischievous little elf that had its own Twitter account. @HonorOakElf kept the Twitter followers among us amused with some friendly banter with @tweet_owls, a Twitter account manned by Hoot, Ann and Nanny themselves.
Despite the absence of lighting ceremonies or carol singing this year, the Christmas trees of SE23 and SE4 brought great joy to kids and adults alike. Thank you to everyone involved in organising these trees during a very difficult time for the community.