Lighting up winter months

The bauble tree at Alnwick Garden
The bauble tree at Alnwick Garden

A magnificent festive feel has been given to a renowned tourist attraction after 1,000 glass baubles have been used to create a unique seasonal centrepiece.

The eye-catching glass Christmas tree has been installed at The Alnwick Garden, following a partnership between the venue and the National Glass Centre, Sunderland.

The baubles were blown by hand at the Wearside attraction by an army of volunteers, while the Duchess of Northumberland has added one herself.

The construction of the glass structure took six people more than 15 hours to complete, as every bauble has had to be tied in place by hand.

It was revealed in a lighting ceremony at The Garden last Thursday and has been described as the attraction’s most ambitious community art project to date.

Newcastle-based glass percussion band Glassonic provided music at the event using its collection of glass instruments including glass tubular bells, glass drums and glass gongs. Steve Colman from Smooth Radio led the countdown for the light switch-on.

Each contributor to the tree was invited to the switch-on. Elaine Scott, from Bedfordshire, turned on the lights. She had blown five baubles.

Susan Hurrell, performance and entertainment manager at The Garden, said: “The tree was a result of a collaborative conversation that started with the Duchess’s idea of hanging baubles from the atrium ceiling.

“However, but due to technical constraints we adapted the idea to that of a tree.

“There was one done in Canada and we thought, if they can we can. Although working out what size the structure had to be to hold the baubles was a big challenge.

“Our collaboration was a really good fit because The Garden and the Glass Centre are both visitor attractions with highly artistic aspirations and it opened audiences up to visiting each other, where they may not have done before.”

The tree will be on show at The Garden throughout November and December.