Saturday, 3 November 2012

Christmas tree hire London

When I was a lad


These cold mornings are nothing to what I remember living in the Northern town of Huddersfield. My god it can get cold up there, as it is actually quite high above sea level and the cold is a damp cold that goes straight to the bones.

My father was a green grocer and an entrepreneur... He had a business partner " Ray" and they both enjoyed a modest life out of their individual shops that they ran. Christmas was another thing this is when the both of them would get together and then to raise money for xmas would take over a Texaco garage on Manchester road and fill the forecourt with trees...Xmas trees..


Well this was when they got really cheap labour ..Yes me and Ray's son John. Yes we stood in the cold, rain, snow and sleet and somehow manage to sell day in day out in the run up until the 24th December.

I cant remember however we had some kind of pricing system probably by the foot as it was in them days...We are talking of the mid to late 70's. Everything then was cash and I remember every night my dad and Ray would count up and yes it did seem like Christmas to us then. I never saw so much cash..mind you £20 to me then was a lot of money as i was probably 11 years old.

the reasoning behind all this was that ray and my dad would work like mad for 3 weeks make as much as they could and then xmas was free!

the only problem was that I had an allergy to pine needles so by xmas I was covered in spots!!!! Greta times.

Things were tough up north! i may of done it for the spending money i guess it really wasn't for love....

We did this year in and year out until one year we had a really good start and my dad decided that would chance another 300 trees in the run up we had about 3 weeks left with only a handful of trees to sell. timings may be out but what ever it was he was required to order more....300 it was...The following Saturday all would be revealed.

The Saturday came and John and I were put on site and told to wait for the drop off..We did and sure enough the lorry came and an amount unknown to us was dropped on the forecourt.

I remember our faces when ray and my father turned up and looked at the trees in amazement..."How many trees are they" one said..."Don't know we replied"

Well unknown to us this was the start of the end because what had happened...Somewhere along the line 3000 trees instead of 300 had been delivered..everyone was blaming everyone else and the wholesaler would not accept return... Therefore we carried on selling the trees even till 6 pm xmas eve..... We sold as many as we could but 3000 was a task too far...

So all these had to be paid for and thus profits fell and xmas was a poor one for that year...But for 3 years after we had to watch the remainder of the trees rot in the back garden as there was no where else to lay them...

My mother was never happy about this and we never sold xmas trees again...But we have fond memories and hold the thought of great years selling in the cold northern town.


Have a great xmas and enjoy your Tree

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