Posted: 19.11.20 at 15:21 by LAYTH YOUSIF
Hitchin's Christmas tree is now standing tall in Market Place.
The 28ft spruce, funded by Hitchin BID and North Herts District Council, arrived this week and, despite, lockdown preventing an official 'switch-on' of the lights, has created much interest.
Read on for the moving story of how the lights came to be donated.
Here's Ian Albert in his own words
For a number of years my wife Linda, who sadly passed away in March 2019, and my daughter Louise, had always said they wanted the lights on Hitchin's Christmas tree to match its splendour and the setting in the wonderful square.
After Linda passed away, I helped Hitchin town centre manager Tom Hardy help choose the Christmas tree to go in the square.
Tom mentioned we might need a new set of lights, so, as a result, I said, my family and I would like to buy the new lights, in memory of my late wife Linda.
When the lights were turned on last year, there was a nice sign on the side that mentioned Linda's memory.
It was a really special day for me, and my family, when they turned on the Christmas lights.
Honouring Linda's memory
Somewhere, looking down on us, I hope Linda will be watching, and saying: 'Yes, it's just what I would have wanted.'
So, it's great to see this year's Christmas tree - which Tom and I chose - now standing in Market Place ahead of this year's festive season.
And now, we can get the lights we donated last year put on again, with a lovely star on top.
Hopefully we can make the best of what has been a pretty awful year - and at least we'll have a fantastic Christmas tree again in Hitchin.
Last year I felt quite emotional and even now when I'm thinking about it I feel a lump in my throat.
Looking at the tree now, I just feel, my daughter Louise and I, will remember Linda, as we always do, and look at a fantastic tree, with some fantastic lights to go on it, and think: 'That would have made her happy'.
Ian's beloved wife Linda passed away in Garden House Hospice after her brave fight against cancer. She was 64
Ian Albert, in conversation with Layth Yousif
Ian Albert is an executive member of North Herts District Council in Hitchin's Bearton ward