The golden neighbourhood Christmas tree that was stolen twice in Thatcham
Christmas is the time to spread a little bit of cheer through selfless acts, and that is exactly what Mary Bird from Thatcham set out to do this year.
To put a smile on the faces of passers-by, Mrs Bird and her husband Frank placed a golden tinsel Christmas tree outside their home.
Located on Station Road by a bus stop, the tree sat for less than a week before the couple noticed that it had disappeared.
Mrs Bird said she did not see who took the tree, and though she suspects it may have simply been children being “silly” or “funny”, she found it “annoying” as it was a simple gesture to brighten up the days of those who saw it.
She said that the act of kindness was done simply “to put a bit of Christmas cheer into those who walk along there after these awful months”.
Brushing her disappointment aside, she said that her husband very quickly put an identical golden tinsel tree in its place, should the "thieves" feel the necessity for a second.
Much to her suspicion, the second tree disappeared within only 11 hours of being put up.
Mrs Bird re-iterated that the issue wasn’t about the money that the decorations costs but that the two trees were simply spare and displayed outside for children who may walk by with their parents.
“Little kids go by on pushchairs, they see our gold tinsel trees. They say 'look Mummy, there’s a Christmas tree'," she said.
"[Mr Bird] thought it would, after the last couple of years, cheer people up to see something bright.
“It was a right mess [outside]. He tidied it up, thought he would put one of the trees out there and he did.”
The couple are usually responsible for dressing up the hall where in which Thatcham Cricket Club holds its Christmas carol concert.
She said: "My husband's connected with the cricket club. We go down every year before the carol concert.
"We decorate the hall for the carols evening. We have been really doing that for years."
However, with the concert cancelled this year, the couple did something different and brought the cheer to their street.
Upon the disappearance of the first tree, she said: “We always knew there was a chance it would disappear but we had hoped those people did not exist any more, obviously they do.”
When Mrs Bird found the second tree missing, she noted how Thatcham must have its "quota of thieves".
She added: “We did try to bring Christmas cheer to those who walk along Station Road – sorry it did not work.”
Though the couple did not know where the trees had gone, they have since not seen them anywhere in the nearby area.
“They have not moved them,” Mrs Bird said.
“They probably didn’t even need it but they could have asked for it.
“It’s annoying, they didn’t cost us much money but it gave people pleasure and still somebody took them.”
However, she said that the couple "probably will do something another year".