The wacky Christmas tree decorated with... 1,000 beer pump clips!

The Black Lion tree decorations
The Black Lion tree decorations

A Leighton Buzzard pub must surely be home to one of the most unusually decorated Christmas trees in the country.

There may be some sparkling fairy lights, but there’s certainly no sign of any tinsel, baubles or bells on its branches, or an angel or star at the summit of the towering trunk in the garden of the Black Lion in the High Street.

Beer mats cover the Christmas tree at the Black Lion.  Photo: John Trotman

Beer mats cover the Christmas tree at the Black Lion. Photo: John Trotman

Instead the decoration on the tree - which at 25ft eclipses the height of the town’s showpiece festive pine by the Market Cross – bizarrely comes from more than a thousand beer pump clips.

Stev Stipanovic runs the pub with Nikki Garratt and the duo are well-known locally for their warped sense of humour. They previously hit the headlines after putting a sign up reminding patrons to keep an eye on their children – with a placard jokingly telling parents that little ones could be nailed to the table for convenience.

When asked where the oddball Christmas tree idea had come from, Stev said: “Where all our ideas come from. It’s just bizarre and the first thing that came into our heads!

“We obviously use a massive amount of different real ales and we get hundreds and hundreds of these pump clips. One of our ceilings is decorated with them.”

The tree took up to 10 hours to decorates and erect. “It was delivered at 8am through gates at the side,” said Stev. “We laid it flat and decorated the top. We then stood it up and got our the ladder. We’d done it by about six with the help of a few regulars and staff. We’ve guessed there’s probably a thousands clips on there, but it’s probably more than that.

“We had a party day on the last Thursday in November when we had carol singers and the lights were switched on, and had a bucket out for charity.

“Everyone who’s seen it loves it and said ‘wow’ and ‘how do you do things like that?’. They have come to the pub just to see the tree.

“What we do here always seems bigger and crazier than everyone else!”

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