A vintage Christmas tree owned by a family from Markham has been sold at auction, with the proceeds being donated to a homeless charity.
The tree was bought in Woolworths in the 1930s and had been in Steve Rose’s family for more than 80 years.
The tree sold at auction for £280, which Mr Rose has donated to the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s Homelessness Fund.
Retired biology teacher Mr Rose, who grew up in Markham but now lives in Leicestershire, said: “I’ve got a nice house, I don’t need anything.
“I don’t like seeing people on the streets, especially at Christmas. So, I’ve decided to give the money to The Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund.”
He added: “I’ve met the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and I’ve been really inspired by his work with the homeless.”
One of the first mass-produced trees ever made, it was sold at Hansons Auctioneers’ Christmas Fine Art Sale, which was held in Staffordshire on Wednesday, December 19.
The tree was bought by London-based artist Eloise Moody, 36, after she read stories about the tree online.
She said: “I am working on an Arts Council England-funded project called Remember Me which is all about belongings of significance owned by people who are last in the family line. Mr Rose had no one to pass his tree on to.
“The tree will form part of the collection of other people’s memories that would otherwise become lost. These objects will eventually go on display in Peterborough.”
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.
Mr Rose 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.”
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “It’s a wonderful story and a wonderful tree. We’re delighted Mr Rose has decided to donate the money from its sale to a fantastic homeless charity – his Christmas spirit and kindness shine bright.