IT IS one of Richmond's many quirks, and something which baffles visitors and newcomers to the town – why do the Christmas decorations include a parrot?

The answer lies in a book, The Christmas Parrot, written by Tom Carr in 2003, which had been out of print for several years but a new supply has been delivered to Castle Hill Bookshop in the town.

Wendy Patch from the shop said she was delighted they had had another delivery of the books.

Mrs Patch said: "The parrot was bought as part of a job lot from Blackpool illuminations many years ago. There were many other random decorations but the parrot seems to have stuck and been embraced by the town.

"A man called Tom Carr, who was a teacher at the old Richmond Grammar School, wrote a book with two stories about the parrot in rhyme, with illustrations by local artist Colin Smithson.

"We ran out of copies about four years ago but recently Mr Carr's son came to the shop with more boxes of the books."

The Richmond Christmas lights are funded and organised by Richmond Duck Club, a charity which raises cash for young people in the area.

Mr Carr asked the shop to donate any proceeds to charity, and the bookshop chose the Grammar School restoration project. Mrs Patch said: "It is nice that it has come full circle. I'm pleased we have the books back in stock as we do get people asking for them."

The books cost £5.