UK’s oldest and most ‘underwhelming’ Xmas tree back on display for 100th year

One of Britain’s oldest and most “underwhelming” artificial Christmas trees is back on display for its 100th year.

Owner Kay Ashton, 66, says the “battered” tree, which is held together by sticky tape, survived being bombed in the Blitz.

It cost two shillings when it was bought in 1920 by her grandmother.

Kay, from Sheffield, told the BBC: “It’s actually just a bit of a family joke now.

“Even my sister says, ‘Have you got that twig out yet?’ and I go, ‘Yep’.

“She asks, ‘Does it look any better?’ and I go, ‘Nope’.”

Her gran Elizabeth Naylor bought it from Woolworths and it has been passed down in the family since.

The 2ft high tree was hit by shrapnel during the Blitz in 1940 and survived eight house moves.

Kay said: “It still is absolutely underwhelming.

“I think my nan would be absolutely flabbergasted because my mother was renowned for throwing stuff in the bin.

“My mum threw my dad’s medals away from World War Two.

“She wasn’t a hoarder.

“The fact it’s got through my mother, I don’t know how it’s managed it.”

Gran, Elizabeth – known as Nanan – died in 1981 aged 80 and the tree was inherited by her daughter, Joyce Ashton.

When Joyce died in 2012 Kay became the third generation to own it.

Last year during a house move, Kay feared she’d lost it but found it just in time under a bed.

“People expect me to say it was a cherished thing, but it wasn’t.

“My mother used to chuck it in the box with the bells still on and put it in the shed. It’s one of the reasons why I can’t believe it’s still here.

“No wonder it looks a bit battered because it’s had a right life.

“If you were 100 you wouldn’t be looking so good.”