Town residents told to STFU after criticising Christmas tree

Festive tree in pretty Herefordshire town labelled 'a b***dy shambles'

Updated: 

A councillor told moaning residents to 'STFU' after they attacked his town's Christmas tree decorations.

A big debate broke out about the way Craig Morgan had decorated the tree in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, with people calling it a "bl***y shambles".

See also: UK's tallest tree decorated with 1,800 lights for festive season

Hotelier Mr Morgan hit back after residents took to Facebook to attack the Christmas tree and lights in the pretty tourist town, Gloucestershire Live reports.

And when the 25-year-old councillor, who runs the upmarket Orles Barn hotel and restaurant, accused people of moaning without doing anything to help, hundreds pitched in with their opinions.

The row started when residents took to Ross-on-Wye Noticeboard to brand the Christmas tree paid for by the Rotary Club as a "disgrace" to the historic town square which featured in the 2014 Boots advert.

Credits: Gloucestershire Live WS

What Christmas movies are on Netflix? Best TV Shows and films to watch this festive season

Many complained about the shape of the tree and others about the lack of lights at the bottom.

Some even compared the fir unfavourably to the Cinderford tree which was sent back by the Forest town last year for being too bald.

Ross carnival volunteer Craig Anthony Bishop posted a photograph on the site with the comment: "What a bl***y shambles and a disgrace to our great town."

And so many people attacked the festive fir that somebody suggested the town's Facebook forum was renamed 'Moan about Ross Christmas tree group'.

But fed-up Craig left many shame-faced when he retaliated and said as a busy businessman and father he had made the best of the job, decorating an "awful" tree in time for Sunday's Christmas Fayre.

How you can use hairspray and Red Bull to stop your Christmas tree from losing its needles

The youngest ever Ross councillor said the town council had already complained to the supplier about the tree and he had finished the lights half way down to safeguard children.

In his rant the retained firefighter says people should not moan unless they are prepared to volunteer and tells some of them to STFU - a widely-used social media term short for a phrase telling people to pipe down, aggressively.

"As this seems to be a page to express opinions about 'Christmas Tree Lights' then I'll leave mine here as well," he wrote on Sunday night, telling people he had been in charge of placing 17 set of lights.

"I was the person who on the day was calling the shots of where they went on the tree. Not the council, me alone so any expressions on concern regarding placement on there please aim them at me direct!!

"For those who have noticed the tree lights do not come all the way down to the bottom then there are few reasons.

"1) That's because your average toddler is about 2-4 foot. It's a choking hazard. (And before anyone says health and safety has gone mad - unless you have seen a child that's accidentally hung them-self with your own physical eyes then STFU!)

"2) It stops one of the little minded people that live in the ever so lovely town of ours a chance of cutting them AGAIN.

"3) At 11am in the morning when the lights went up it was Light! It's not so easy to see where they need adjusting! Now they are on fully we can change where needed."

Credits: Gloucestershire Live WS

Mr Morgan then goes on to say as one of the younger members he has to fit in his unpaid council work in between a full time job and family duties and accused some of his council colleagues of failing to actively contribute to the life of the town.

Challenging his critics to come forward and help he concluded: "Oh and before the spell check police show up... I've currently had a few glasses of alcoholic beverages. I'll say no more!!"

The councillor's post prompted hundreds of reactions, including a sympathy vote from Cinderford councillor Mark Turner who was instrumental in getting Cinderford's balding Christmas tree replaced last year and boosting the festive decorations in the Forest town.

Supporter Jemma Jones wrote: "Well done Craig, it must be hard running a business, being a dad and looking after a pregnant lady too. I do agree with you, the people who moan are the people most likely to do absolutely nothing about it!

"Just take pride in knowing you've done your bit, even if it's not appreciated by everyone... sadly you'll never please everyone!!"

But others said something needed to be done to make sure the town does better next year and Geoff Jones wrote: "I have just seen the tree and it's a bit floppy and looks dead already – I can see what people are moaning about – I think the Rotary have been sold a pup. They do all that good fundraising and then this happens."

Councillor Morgan remains unrepentant and said there was a similar row last year when some complained about residents putting baubles on the tree in memory of loved ones who had passed away, but this has now become a popular feature.

Credits: Gloucestershire Live WS

"It's because I'm a doer," he said. "When I was elected in 2013 I was the youngest councillor ever and I admit that get frustrated by all the meetings and red tape.

"It seems to me that it is the same six or seven people doing things all the time and because they are more visible, they are the ones being slammed on social media.

"I understand people are entitled to have their opinions and express their views about what we do, but I just wanted to make the point that we don't get paid and we do this in our own time.

"We are not all retired either. In my case I have fit the volunteering work around a busy hotel, a five-year-old daughter and wife with a second child on the way."

The picture postcard town is a favourite destination for Christmas shoppers in the Forest of Dean and is still featured in an advert for Boots which shows giant fashion accessories and products amongst local landmarks.

The advert showed an oversized perfume bottle in the space of the shop in Market Place and a woman walking to the shop. The final shot of the advert showed the Boots store through an arch in the market place and can still be seen on TV occassionally.

Weird and wonderful Christmas markets

Weird and wonderful Christmas markets


provided by