Decorating the tree? We’d better dust off the cherry picker! Festive fir planted in couple’s garden after Christmas 43 years ago is now 60ft tall
- The 6ft fir Avril and Christopher Rowlands bought in 1978 is now 60ft tall
- They have to use a cherry picker to decorate it every year
- On Saturday most of the Inkberrow inhabitants came to see the lights switched on
It is the family Christmas tree that wouldn’t be out of place in Jack And The Beanstalk.
For after Avril and Christopher Rowlands planted it in their front garden, it grew… and grew… and grew.
The 6ft fir they bought in 1978 is now 60ft – so tall they have to use a cherry picker to decorate it each year.
The couple paid £6 at a garden centre for the indoor tree as they celebrated their first Christmas at their new home in Inkberrow, Worcestershire.
The 6ft fir Avril and Christopher Rowlands bought in 1978 is now 60ft – so tall they have to use a cherry picker to decorate it each year (pictured)
Pictured: The tree when it was first planted at their home in Inkberrow, Worcestershire
Now, 43 years on, its 3,000 lights can be seen for miles around. On Saturday, most of the 2,000 inhabitants of the village – said to be the inspiration for Ambridge in The Archers on Radio 4 – turned out to see the switching on of the lights to raise money for charity.
Mrs Rowlands, 75, a retired TV writer, said: ‘We moved up to the village from London in 1978. When Christmas was over that year we didn’t want to just throw the tree out so we planted it in the front garden.
‘We had no idea just how big it would grow. It’s absolutely huge now and towers over our house.’ Mrs Rowlands, whose husband is a retired BBC editor, added: ‘Inkberrow is one of the only villages in the UK which has no street lights so when the tree is lit up it really is quite a spectacle. Switching on of the lights has become quite a village tradition.
‘A lot of people in the village say that it’s the start of their Christmas. Last year we had to do the switch on by ourselves and post the pictures on Facebook because Covid restrictions were in place.
‘It’s been wonderful to see so many people enjoy the lights this year. We’ve had fireworks too, plus Christmas music. We switched on the lights and have asked people to donate to Cancer Research.’
On Saturday, most of the 2,000 inhabitants of the village – said to be the inspiration for Ambridge in The Archers on Radio 4 – turned out to see the switching on of the lights to raise money for charity. Pictuered: The pair stand with their tree
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