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How the Grinch failed to steal Christmas in Kent

By Amy Nickalls

For every person who had their decorations up and shopping done by December 1, there's another who would like to skip the month and start their 'new year new me' after November 30.

Over the last few weeks some in the county have really not embraced the season and refused to spread festive cheer.

But, their bah humbugs were ruined by the communities who were full of the season of good will and stopped those who tried to steal Christmas.

Stolen Christmas trees

The replacement tree (5919441)
The replacement tree (5919441)

David McCall has decorated the tree in his home in Ashford every year for the past 10 years.

But this year the 10ft tree was stolen by thieves.

The 68-year-old said: "One of my neighbours noticed it had gone at 5am and told me. It was a big tree, it was about one-metre-and-a-half wide - you wouldn't have got it in the back of a car.

"It wasn't about the value of it, it was the thought that someone has cut it down to put it in their own front room.

"I'm just amazed that anyone would do something like that."

And although he had replaced the fir with a new, minature one, his neighbours clubbed together and delivered a new tree to his home, restoring the McCall's 'faith in humanity.'

Cancelled pantomimes

Snow White Maidstone Panto (6204995)
Snow White Maidstone Panto (6204995)

The highlight of many child's pre Christmas Day celebrations and possibly they're only trip to the theatre all year is the pantomime.

While there were plenty of great pantomime's to enjoy across the county, thousands were left disappointed by the last minute closing of the showing of Snow White at the Friars.

Large groups missed out on their festive outings and family traditions were ruined.

But, fellow production companies who know how difficult putting on the show is, offered a helping hand with free or discounted tickets on their shows.

The Hazlitt, Swallows and Leeds Castle were among the attractions to offer goodwill to all men, women and children.


The Strood Christmas Tree. Picture: Chris Davey. (6205043)
The Strood Christmas Tree. Picture: Chris Davey. (6205043)

To tinsel or not to tinsel? For some, it was more a question of whether to decorate or not!

At the Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham, shop workers accused Medway Council of 'skimping' on the decorations.

While in Strood, the Christmas tree was branded a 'disgrace' until some locals threw a bit of hot pink tinsel on the branches.

Maybe the council will follow in the footsteps of Canterbury City Council who after being dubbed the worst in the county last year, has gone all out in Herne Bay this year.

The same could not be said in Faversham, where the threats from 'louts and yobbos' meant only the top half was decorated.


Footage captured by Animal aid, appearing to show a worker kicking a reindeer at Kent Reindeer Centre in Bethersden (5952457)
Footage captured by Animal aid, appearing to show a worker kicking a reindeer at Kent Reindeer Centre in Bethersden (5952457)

Before the season had even begun, animal lovers watched in shock as footage emerged of reindeers looking ill and being kicked by a rouge worker at the centre in Bethersden.

A secret source told KentOnline that Father Christmas uses reindeers from a different centre, in the North Pole, and many Christmas activity organisers across the county did the same.

Leeds Castle, Eastwell Manor and Sevenoaks council all chose not to use the centre in their respective events this year after the video.

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