By Lucy Ashton
FOUR villages across Helensburgh and Lomond have received a dose of festive spirit courtesy of HM Naval Base Clyde and community partners.
This is the third year now that “Operation Christmas Tree” has seen Naval Base personnel set to work to source, deliver, and, in some cases, help erect the gigantic Christmas trees, working alongside Community Councils.
Petty Officer McCrindle, Able Seaman Weller- Lodge and Able Seaman Maclean were only too happy to go along and help the local communities get into the Christmas Spirit. Community Council members and partners from Argyll and Bute will now arrange for the trees to be decorated and lit, providing a bit of seasonal sparkle to villages across the area.
Taking delivery of trees this year so far are: Garelochhead; Rhu and Shandon; Rosneath and Clynder; and Cove and Kilcreggan. Royal Navy staff from HMS Neptune helped get most of the trees in place however the Cove and Kilcreggan tree has still to be erected with one still to be delivered to Drumfork.
Operation Christmas Tree was a real team effort. The 18-20-foot trees were sourced from MOD land just outside of RNAD Coulport, felled by ESS Ground and Waste Team, delivered by base transport and in some cases erected by Royal Navy personnel from HMS Neptune.
Commander Stuart Currie, the Naval Base Executive Officer said: “Supplying, erecting, and decorating these Christmas Trees is a truly joint effort between HM Naval Base Clyde, our industry partners and the Community Councils of Rosneath, Kilcreggan, Rhu and Garelochhead.
“Once fully decorated and lit, these trees definitely add cheer to these cold and dark winter nights and, hopefully, increase the sense of community for everyone at this very special time of year.”
Home to the Royal Navy Submarine Service, the Royal Marines of 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group and the First Mine Counter Measures Squadron, HMNB Clyde is one of the largest single site employers in Scotland and its biggest military base.
HMS Neptune personnel with Christmas Trees at Rhu, Garelochhead and Rosneath.