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Britain's oldest Christmas fairy lights have been lit for the 50th consecutive year - without a single bulb ever being replaced

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Britain's oldest Christmas fairy lights have been lit for the 50th consecutive year - without a single bulb ever being replaced

Britain's oldest Christmas fairy lights have been lit for the 50th consecutive year - without a single bulb ever being replaced

Britain's oldest Christmas fairy lights have been lit for the 50TH consecutive year - without a single bulb ever being replaced.

The lights were bought for just £3 from Woolworths by Vina Shaddick in 1969 - but sadly she died last year and left them to son Ross Farr-Semmens, 40.

Every year he brings out the plastic tree adorned with the string of colourful illuminations and describes it as a tense moment to see if they will switch on.

And he was thrilled when - despite a brief scare with a loose bulb - they illuminated the living room of his home in Plymouth, Devon, once more to mark half a century of faultless use.

Ross, a music teacher, said: "This is a very special year for these lights.

''With mum buying them in 1969 it really is just amazing to be part of their continuing success and special place in the household helping us all to celebrate Christmas in style.

"She was always excited at the prospect of them making it to 50.

I feel emotional to see them continue to illuminate in pride of place on top of my grand piano.

"I wasn't sure whether they would make it to this age as time really does work against wires, plastic and electrical connections.

"It's even more special that they're 50, I'm now 40 and mum would have been 70, and now life has begun to move forward in a very positive way with my girlfriend, Ruth, moving in in the new year.

"Sadly my mum is no longer around to see things moving ahead so happily, but it's nice to have some of the past, in the form of these lights, blending in with the new.

"Life does move on and I think that mum would be happy to know that these lights are still part of it all.

"It is literally magic that they can still be part of all the Christmas festivities." The lights remain in-situ all year round on the tree for fear that they are too fragile to disassemble.

But as the festive season rolls round, the black bag over the 1970s tree is carefully removed revealing the sparkly artifacts.

Despite the longevity, Ross said he was not taking anything for granted in the future - and described a major scare this year when he tried to get them working.

He added: "Every year will be a bonus however as they have been a little temperamental at getting them to work.

"I took them off the tree this time to re-dress for their 50th year and they still worked, but on re-dressing the tree with them they found this too much and wouldn't turn on.

"It was a very tense and tentative moment.

The thought that they might not make it to their 50th year was quite worrying and I would have felt pretty sad if they stopped for good.

I persevered though and I thought, one more year at the very least.

"I needed to go through quite a few bulbs and tighten them before I found the loose one but they're all working again now, "I will certainly return to the former habit of keeping them on the tree for future years as this has been instrumental in their longevity.

It has to be a year-by-year thing from now on and it certainly can't be taken for granted that they'll continue to work next year - but we'll be keeping everything crossed."

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Britain's oldest Christmas fairy lights have been lit for the 50th consecutive year - without a single bulb ever being replaced

Britain's oldest Christmas fairy lights have been lit for the 50TH consecutive year - without a single bulb ever being replaced.

The lights were bought for just £3 from Woolworths by Vina Shaddick in 1969 - but sadly she died last year and left them to son Ross Farr-Semmens, 40.

Every year he brings out the plastic tree adorned with the string of colourful illuminations and describes it as a tense moment to see if they will switch on.

And he was thrilled when - despite a brief scare with a loose bulb - they illuminated the living room of his home in Plymouth, Devon, once more to mark half a century of faultless use.

Ross, a music teacher, said: "This is a very special year for these lights.

''With mum buying them in 1969 it really is just amazing to be part of their continuing success and special place in the household helping us all to celebrate Christmas in style.

"She was always excited at the prospect of them making it to 50.

I feel emotional to see them continue to illuminate in pride of place on top of my grand piano.

"I wasn't sure whether they would make it to this age as time really does work against wires, plastic and electrical connections.

"It's even more special that they're 50, I'm now 40 and mum would have been 70, and now life has begun to move forward in a very positive way with my girlfriend, Ruth, moving in in the new year.

"Sadly my mum is no longer around to see things moving ahead so happily, but it's nice to have some of the past, in the form of these lights, blending in with the new.

"Life does move on and I think that mum would be happy to know that these lights are still part of it all.

"It is literally magic that they can still be part of all the Christmas festivities." The lights remain in-situ all year round on the tree for fear that they are too fragile to disassemble.

But as the festive season rolls round, the black bag over the 1970s tree is carefully removed revealing the sparkly artifacts.

Despite the longevity, Ross said he was not taking anything for granted in the future - and described a major scare this year when he tried to get them working.

He added: "Every year will be a bonus however as they have been a little temperamental at getting them to work.

"I took them off the tree this time to re-dress for their 50th year and they still worked, but on re-dressing the tree with them they found this too much and wouldn't turn on.

"It was a very tense and tentative moment.

The thought that they might not make it to their 50th year was quite worrying and I would have felt pretty sad if they stopped for good.

I persevered though and I thought, one more year at the very least.

"I needed to go through quite a few bulbs and tighten them before I found the loose one but they're all working again now, "I will certainly return to the former habit of keeping them on the tree for future years as this has been instrumental in their longevity.

It has to be a year-by-year thing from now on and it certainly can't be taken for granted that they'll continue to work next year - but we'll be keeping everything crossed."




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