Vandals to blame

PUBLISHED: 12:45 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

SIR, - In reply to the letter from Elizabeth Dumpleton (Herts Advertiser, January 19) about the lack of a Christmas tree in the reception area at St Albans City Hospital, she should not blame the hospital management. I am a committee member of The League

SIR, - In reply to the letter from Elizabeth Dumpleton (Herts Advertiser, January 19) about the lack of a Christmas tree in the reception area at St Albans City Hospital, she should not blame the hospital management. I am a committee member of The League of Friends of St Albans City Hospital who have supplied and decorated two trees in the hospital - a large tree in the out-patients' waiting room for 10 or 12 years - and at Christmas 2001 we were asked for a tree to decorate the reception area. We bought a seven-foot tree, decorated it and everyone was pleased but the next morning it was found vandalised. We spent three hours putting it together again - with a few less decorations. That night the tree was again vandalised, so we put it together again. That evening security officers saw it disappearing across the hospital grounds in the arms of two teenagers. The tree was brought back and the Friends found a new home for it in the waiting room of the day-surgery unit. It has been appreciated there at Christmas time since then. This is the reason why there is no tree in hospital reception - and there will not be as we cannot expect security staff to stand guard over a tree for three weeks before every Christmas. Both trees are now in areas that are locked at night. I wish to say that for almost 50 years the League of Friends has raised well over £1 million to help provide some of the extras needed in St Albans City Hospital - medical equipment and many amenities to make life more comfortable for both patients and staff. MARY WINCOTT, Flinders Close, St Albans.

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