Elderly Couple Living in UK’s Darkest Village Lights Up the Sky With Huge Christmas Tree They Planted in 1978

This tree-mendous pine is becoming known as The Little Tree That Could.

Planted by an elderly couple long ago when it was shorter than them, it has grown to more than 50-feet and provides a majestic light to a town with little illumination on any horizon.

Avril and Christopher Rowlands bought the fir costing £6 at a garden center shortly after moving into their home, using it as their first Christmas tree.

They planted the 6-foot tree in the front garden and took a photograph to commemorate the occasion.

The tree took root and thrived.

Today it towers, 43 years later, over the village of Inkberrow, Worcs.

The village—with its 17th century pub that inspired The Bull in Radio 4’s The Archers—is one of the darkest places in the UK as one of the only towns without any street lights.

But last week its 2,000 residents turned out to see the switching-on ceremony, which lit up the huge tree that can be seen from miles around.

“The switching on of the lights has become quite a village tradition,” said Avril. “A lot of people in the village say that it’s the start of their Christmas.”

This year was quite special because last year the Rowlands had to do the switch-on by themselves due to Covid restrictions.

“We had fireworks, too, this year, plus a friend who brought down a trailer that had Christmas music on.”

The tree has grown so big that a cherry picker is needed to help the couple decorate it with 3,000 lights ahead of the big unveiling.

“It’s been wonderful to see so many people enjoy the lights this year,” said the 75-year-old retired TV writer.

And, since the tree is getting more and more attention, they decided to ask people to donate to a Cancer Research charity online, in memory of a close friend who died this year.

The couple say they are still stunned by the size of the tree which grows more than a foot each year: “We had no idea just how big it would grow. It’s absolutely huge now and towers over our house.”

Avril swooned, “We even get cards addressed to the tree, which is quite sweet.”