A vintage Christmas tree that has been owned by a family from Markham for generations is set to go under the hammer.
The tree was bought in Woolworths in the 1930s and has been in Steve Rose’s family for more than 80 years.
The son of a miner, Mr Rose, 74, was raised in a terraced house overlooking his father’s colliery in Markham, where he would watch his mother dress the tree with tinsel and baubles every year.
One of the first mass-produced trees ever made, it will now be sold at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire on December 18, along with more of Mr Rose’s vintage Christmas decorations, such as 1950s Christmas tree lights still in their original box, baubles and glow-in-the-dark icicles.
The tree is estimated to sell for between £200 and £300.
Last Christmas, a similar tree – without any decorations – sold for £420 at Hansons and was bought by the American Christmas Tree Association.
Mr Rose, a retired biology teacher now living in Leicestershire, said: “It was our main family tree for years and I remember my mum putting it up every Christmas. I’ve had it all my life.
“Christmas was not an extravagant affair when I was a child growing up in South Wales.
“In the late 1940s you’d get a Christmas sock and inside it was a tangerine, nuts, some loose change and small presents.
“It was very simple but enjoyable. On Christmas Day we had a chicken from the lady at the back of our house who bred them.
“I think we enjoyed Christmas more back then. Because we didn’t have much, we valued what we did have. I was given a train set when I was 11 and I only parted with that eight years ago. It was still in mint condition with its original box.
“These days, some children get thousands of pounds spent on them and don’t appreciate it because they’re used to having so much.
“My father had to start work down the mine at the age of 13 because his mother had been widowed twice, there were four children to feed and the rent had to be paid. He worked in mining for 49 years.
“He retired at 62 and lived until he was 77. He was a lovely, strong man – my parents were what I call good folk. The village where I grew up had a strong community spirit. Money was scarce but we always had one good cooked meal a day.”
Mr Rose, who now lives in Leicestershire, says he is parting company with the sentimental tree because he has no children to pass it on to.
He said: “Let’s hope it finds an exciting new home and puts a sparkle into Christmas for generations to come.”
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to buy your very own vintage Christmas and own a tree of historical importance. Nearly a century after it was made, it’s time for this tree to be an evergreen star in our saleroom.”
Department store Woolworths started selling some of the first mass-produced artificial trees in the 1920s. In 1930, the British-based Addis Housewares Company created the first artificial Christmas tree made from brush bristles. The company used machinery utilised to manufacture toilet brushes.