PUB landlords have attempted to restore their town's festive spirit by erecting a 15ft real Christmas tree on their town High Street close to “Britain’s worst tree.”

A 20ft white cone on Stockton High Street has been ridiculed as the worst in the country in the media and on social networking websites.

So father-and-son landlord team Graham and Craig Harker, who run The George, on the High Street, bought a tree for the town.

The pair, who did not obtain permission to put up the tree on the highway, paid for the tree and the decorations and children helped decorate it.

Graham Harker said: “It’s been talked about a lot and we were getting sick of the negative comments about our town. To be honest that triangle thing is abysmal and we thought let’s do something about it.”

Asked about getting permission from the council to erect the tree, Mr Harker said: “I can’t see it being a problem, really that street belongs to all of the people of Stockton and we want a nice tree.”

It has emerged the cone was gifted to the town by developers working on multi-million improvements to the High Street. There are real Christmas trees in the town in nearby Wellington Square, Castlegate Centre and The Shambles.

Craig Harker said online: “The Wellington Square tree is amazing. We are simply putting one up on the High Street for the many visitors who pass by. We hope you all like it, anyway, and Merry Christmas.”