This Christmas tree may be artificial but at 98 years old, there is no denying it is an evergreen.
The fake spruce, thought to the Britain’s oldest, still goes up every year with its original decorations on after being passed down the maternal branches of a family tree since 1920.
Elizabeth Naylor bought the two-footer at now-defunct chain Woolworths for two shillings.
It is known as William’s tree after her son, who died in 1940, and its current owner is granddaughter Kay Ashton.
The 64-year-old said: “It’s 98 but it goes up every year. It’s a great piece of history and I’m so glad to have it.
“To think the tree has stayed the same for almost 100 years but everything around it has changed. It’s outlived two generations and even the shop it was bought from, so it’s made of strong stuff.
“It’s a talking point and people are amazed when I say it was bought two years after the First World War. I usually take it down a few days after Christmas, I don’t like to tempt fate. I’d be upset if anything happened. It is still going strong and might outlive me.”
Elizabeth, known as Nanan, died in 1981 at 80 and daughter Joyce Ashton inherited the tree. In 2012 it went to Kay, of Sheffield. And it has survived some scrapes over the years – including the Nazi blitz on the city in 1941, when a bomb blew open the door at Elizabeth’s and sent an iron mangle flying into the tree.
Kay said: “The top had nearly come off and it’s been bent ever since but it was fixed with Sellotape and wire.”
The tradition will live on after Kay as she has daughters Amy Wilcox, 46, and Rebecca Goodhand, 40 – and Rebecca has girls Phoebe, 14, and Tallulah, 12.
Kay said: “Nanan would be touched to know the tree is still being used – and so would William. We’ll definitely have to have a party when it reaches 100.”
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