Friday, December 04, 2009

The Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square

The Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square - just before the lights were switched on
10" x 8" pencil in Moleskine
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Last night, at around 6 o'clock, I was stood on one of the grass platforms outside the National Gallery sketching the scene in Trafalgar Square in the dark! I could barely see to write annotations never mind draw!

The lights on the 80 year old spruce tree in Trafalgar Square, which is sent each year as a present by the people of Norway, were due to be switched on by the Mayor of Oslo.

My sketch is of the crowd and Trafalgar Square in the darkness while the huge crowds waited for the choristers and the Mayors of Westminster and Oslo to arrive.

It was certainly a very nice ceremony when it started spoilt only by a very silly police car which had its siren blaring the whole time the Mayor was speaking.

The article on wikipedia about the The Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square explains the history of the annual gift which has taken place each year since 1947.

I think all the London Mayors get invited to the lights ceremony. I draw this conclusion because I was very tempted as I left the Square to take photographs of the huge numbers of mayoral cars which were double parked on the double yellow lines on Duncannon Street. Of course if you've been invited by the Mayor of Westminster I guess it comes with some sort of dispensation on parking!


  1. This is great! I love how you only suggested the heads of the people in the crowd. I'm amazed you could do this so well in the dark!!!

  2. now that's a challenge! I don't know how you managed to do such a great sketch.

  3. I just finished an essay on how I don't get tree lightings. Oddly enough, I totally get sketches of tree lightings--great work!


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