Couple planted Christmas tree in 1978 for £6 - it now stands 50ft tall and welcomes thousands of visitors (cloned)
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A couple has opened up about how a Christmas tree which cost them £6 to buy in 1978 has become a festive staple in their town every year.
Avril and Christopher Rowlands purchased the fir tree 45 years ago, which they put in their house in Inkberrow, Worcestershire. After the first Christmas with the luscious fir, the couple planted it in their front garden where it has become one of the town's most iconic Christmas sights every year and has now even become the star of a children's Christmas story.
Avril, 78, a retired TV writer who penned the book, said: “It’s amazing to think that when we first bought the tree in 1978 we brought it home on the roof of my Mini. We decided to plant the tree outside our window to mark our first Christmas in our new home.
“Since then the tree has just shot up and is now an unofficial landmark in the village. We love doing the Christmas lights. The tree can be seen from miles around on clear nights and people flock to see it."
She added: “It’s become something of a tradition for people in the village and beyond. It even inspired me to write a children’s book about the tree called The Laxford House Christmas Tree. It’s gone wild in the village. With the sale of the book, the tree has spanned generations in the village."
The stunning tree now stands at 50ft tall. It has grown so big that a cherry picker is needed to put thousands of lights on the fir as well as the finishing touches like the star, however the couple only put the lights on for two hours each night to cut down on electricity use and bills.
The festive spectacle has become one of Inkberrow's most stunning landmarks, attracting thousands of visitors to the switch-on. The glittering tree is sure to stand out in what was ranked as one of the UK's darkest villages on account of having no street lights.
Retired BBC editor Christopher, 79, said: “The tree is really special. During Covid, we didn’t do the switch-on but it was lit. It was a like a beacon of hope. We are so grateful for the help we receive every year to light it up. It's become something of an annual tradition and long may it continue."
Those who come to marvel at the twinkling tree are invited to donate to charity for the pleasure. This year, Avril and Christopher are raising money for a local charity whch runs a foodbank and offers shelter for homeless people.