Is this the oldest Christmas tree in Norfolk?
PUBLISHED: 18:53 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 18:53 20 December 2019
Could this small but perfectly preserved Christmas tree be the oldest still in use in Norfolk?
87-year-old Ellen Futter believes so, as it has been in her family since before she was born.
The tree - which stands at just nine inches tall - has become a family heirloom, and Ms Futter, who was born and has lived all her life in Norfolk, believes that her mother bought if from a Woolworths store in 1930.
She said: "My sister was two years older than me - she was born in 1931 and it was there then. It has always been in our family."
A 99-year-old artificial Christmas tree is believed to be the oldest in the UK, having been in a Sheffield woman's family since it was bought for sixpence in 1920.
While this example may not be as old, its condition is immaculate as it has been well cared for through the decades by Ms Futter, a retired nurse at the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on St Stephens Road.
Ms Futter, who lives in Norwich, is very proud of her possession, which takes pride of place on the table every year.
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She said: "It has all the original baubles and candles, everything that I remember being on it during my childhood. It has the original red base too. It's a lovely thing."
On Thursday, December 19, a 27-inch Christmas tree bought from Woolworths in 1937 sold at Derbyshire auction house Hansons for £150 to an international buyer.
Two years earlier, Hansons sold a similar example for £420 to the American Christmas Tree Association.
Ms Futter's example is around seven years older than those and she believes that, despite its diminutive stature, her tree could fetch a similar price.
However, she is too attached to the "priceless" heirloom to ever consider selling it.
She said: "I always have it on the table at Christmas, it's so sweet. It comes out every year.
"I wouldn't want to sell it. I would certainly want it to stay in the family. I think it will end up being passed on to my nephew and then it will be up to him.
"But I couldn't ever get rid of it. It's a legacy of our family."
Do you think you have an older example of a Christmas tree? Get in touch: email@example.com