Musical tree still plays carols after nearly 80 years

A MUSICAL Christmas tree that is more than three-quarters of a century old is still belting out carols.

Pauline Whitaker, from Lightcliffe, near Halifax, decorates the 79-year-old tree each year for the festive season.

She said: "My children and grandchildren are fascinated by it. It plays Oh Come, All Ye Faithful and Silent Night."

The tree was bought for Mrs Whitaker's late husband, Michael, in 1931 from Selfridges to celebrate his first Christmas.

He kept it as he grew up and it has been part of his family's Christmas decorations ever since.

Mrs Whitaker has kept to a traditional theme to decorate the tree, with some of the baubles she has used coming from her mother.

Last year, the Yorkshire Post featured a Christmas tree belonging to Margaret France, of Rastrick, who had a 74-year-old Christmas tree.

Meanwhile, a silver bauble has been lighting up Christmas trees for 140 years – making it one of the world's oldest festive decorations.

Annabel Smith, 77, was given the glass bauble as a family heirloom. It dates back to 1870 when it was bought for her grandfather John Swann.

The ancient ornament was purchased in the year A Christmas Carol author Charles Dickens died, when Queen Victoria was on the throne and when Christmas was officially declared a holiday in the United States.

The grandmother-of-three said: "The story goes that my grandfather was only a baby and he would see this bauble hanging in a shop window.

"He would cry out for it every time he went past and his parents bought him it for Christmas. It has been in my family ever since."

The Yorkshire Post reported on Saturday that a pair of wooden Christmas decorations – which are at least 111 years old – had become part of the annual festive celebrations in the Hey family household in Flockton, near Wakefield.

The two decorative figures, which have movable arms and legs and are both about three inches tall, were brought by Sheila Hey's mother-in-law, Mary Elizabeth Robinson, to England in 1899 from South Africa.