Friday – JohnKu – AKA – TGIF Fri-Yay Good News

Photo courtesy of SWNS

Here is a story from the Good News Network. Retired couple Avril Rowlands, 75, and her husband Christopher, 76, from Inkberrow, Worcestershire, have decorated their giant Christmas tree, which they planted as a sapling more than 40 years ago. This vast 60ft Christmas tree lights up an entire neighborhood over 40 years after being planted as a sapling. Avril Rowlands and her husband Christopher stuck the 6ft fir in their front garden after enjoying their first Christmas at their new home in 1978. The tree purchased for £6 from a local garden center now towers above their four-bedroom detached property, and the couple hired a cherry picker to decorate it with more than 1,000 lights.

Photo courtesy of SWNS

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.

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

The Little Tree That Could, 1979 – SWNS

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

SWNS

“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 remarkable 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.

The Rolands – SWNS

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 says 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.”

Drone aerial view of the giant Christmas tree in 2019 –SWNS

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

Today’s JohnKu talks about the holiday spirit. I hope you all have a terrific week.

The Holiday by John W. Howell © 2021

Is the spirit real?

It seems to be growing strong . . .

Could be peace on Earth,

 

102 comments

  1. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Such a sweet story! We often don’t realize how the slightest kind gesture or simple dream can result in another’s hope. Beautiful reflection, John. Thank you. 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Gwen. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That tree is amazing. We’re in the dark here, too, with no street lights, but we’re in more of a hamlet rather than a town. I love it on full moon nights as you get the full effect of nature. Love the Haiku, John. Here’s hoping for peace on Earth … soon? 🌏🤞 . Lovely post. Thanks for sharing 💕🙂🎄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the lovely comments, Harmony. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing, Michael.

      Like

  3. What a wonderful and very heart touching story. Thanks for sharing, John! Enjoy a beautiful weekend! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You as well, Michael. 😊

      Like

  4. Dear John
    What an amazing story.
    Now I know why I don’t want to have a Christmastree growing in my garden 😉
    Keep well and happy
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha. Thank you, Klausbernd. I’m glad too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. And now, thanks to the story, pictures and you – their tree can bring smiles world-wide!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, GP. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We had a similar blue spruce when I was a kid. It came in a one gallon container and I planted it for my mother. Years later it pushed the fence over as it got wider and is still alive if I were to drive by the old house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are amazing trees, Craig. Thanks for sharing the story. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my, John! What a fantabulous share! That is one HUUUUGE tree!
    Beautiful haiku to go with. What a wonderful Friday surprise you have given us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And it was a Canadian story. Boom.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! I thought it was in England! Double Boom!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is England. I don’t know what I was thinking. 😳

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Bah… there are worse things 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes there are. Thanks, Dale.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this story, John. And what a beautiful tree. It’s great to see a view of the whole neighborhood too. Thanks for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought so too, Barbara. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. They are spirit doesn’t just light up a room, it lights up an entire village! And now perhaps the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pamela. I know I was warmed by this story. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s a marvelous story! The tree is stunning. I think they’ve created a wonderful tradition for the village.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I noticed no one else seems to even have a tree. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right! I wouldn’t see a need since it can been seen by the whole village. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So true, Deborah. Good point.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! The tree is fabulous. Thank you for this festive and heartwarming post, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Jill. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a beautiful tree! Such a heartwarming story. I love that the tree gets mail.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought that was funny as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. And thank goodness no HOA gave them grief over having too many lights!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if anyone complained?

      Like

  14. Wow–on so many levels!! Thank you for this, John!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Liz.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Very cool, but I’m curious about something. How do you sleep in a house that’s so brightly lit? Wouldn’t the light get in through the windows too?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. I suppose it would.

      Like

  16. Great story for the season, John and a great Johnku. I hope you have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You as well, Dan. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. That’s amazing and heartwarming. Thanks, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. What an amazing story, John. The tree is stunning and I love that the couple continued the tradition even with COVID restrictions last year. What a blessing for this little village. Great JohnKu! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Loved you r comment, Jan. Thank you.

      Like

  19. I love this story, John. I’ll be they never imagined the impact that little tree would have over forty years later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? Great story.

      Like

  20. What a beautiful story, John, and that tree is incredible! How it has begun Christmas for others is quite moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lauren. Touching indeed.

      Like

  21. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    I love the Good New Network, John 🙂 What a beautiful tree and story. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise.

      Like

  22. Oh Wow John… Such a beautiful Legacy for the whole village.. So wonderful to see the tree as a sapling and 40 years later… I bet that tree can tell a few tales….. Great overhead view, showing just how large the tree is…
    And to think this lovely couple still giving the whole village a huge treat every Christmas…. What a celebration.
    Great advertisement for our English Village life… Oh and I have listened to a few episodes in my day of the Archers.. Lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the comment, Sue. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Lovely story. We planted some trees at our old house, watched them grow, then moved and planted more. Next year we hang some lights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you. I’m glad your HOA doesn’t forbid lights.

      Like

  24. Lovely JohnKu.
    If the spirit is growing as strong as the tree, there WILL be peace on earth!
    Truly, a wonderful and inspiring story. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe that too, Resa. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Yes! The spirit is real. Now this is classy decorating – just a symbol of light, hope and peace. Thanks, John! May your magnolia tree do as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the nice words, Jo. 😁

      Like

  26. Anonymous · · Reply

    Wonderful story, dear John! The tree is amazing. It likes the place, for certain, 🙂 Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so welcome.

      Like

  27. What a perfect Christmas story, John. I was looking at the photograph from 1978 and I thought to myself, “Did they take some of the house away for this tree to keep fitting?” LOL. But seriously, that’s amazing that the town has come to love this tradition. So beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is. Thanks, Marc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love the new Friday swing.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    What a fabulous story! We’ve lived in the same house for 26 years, and it is remarkable to watch the history of the trees that we put into the ground.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never lived long enough in one place to see the trees mature. It must be a sight.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Becky. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I love that last photograph. It really shows off its size!
    Merry Christmas, John! Don’t forget to guess and win a card!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susie. I just left there. Merry Christmas to you and yours. 🎄

      Like

      1. Yay!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. What an inspirational story. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the visit, Sandra.

      Like

  31. Image the reaction of thr fairy, though, being persuaded to climb up there and sit in a flight path for a month. A bit bloody cold. Maybe it’s a different one each year, an agency fairy rather than one on the payroll. Probably difficult to find a willing fairy these days. Do you think they are paid well?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the fairy is a conscript from the Santa Helpers League. Of course, the choice is from the list of those who have been classified as surplus since that duty is listed as the Final Assignment.

      Like

  32. What a fabulous story. I doubt they considered this kind of impact many years later. For me, your choice for the last picture shows the impact. Great find and thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Frank. 😁

      Like

  33. This really is a lovely post, John. It’s so nice to see people spreading joy and Christmas spirit like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robbie. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  34. What a beautiful story (and tree), John! I am loving these happy tales! Keep ‘em coming…so nice to have good news for a change.😍👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad, Lori

      Liked by 1 person

  35. God bless the Rowlands!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are a pair for sure. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  36. This is such a lovely, lovely story, John. The work involved to string lights (and the expense) around that giant tree…. What joy they provide. And Christmas cards addressed to the tree?! Love it. Whoever lives in that house in the future had better keep up the tradition. That should be stipulated in the sale. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I was taken by the story as well. Thanks for the visit, Betsey. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A pleasure, my good sir.

        Liked by 1 person

  37. Nice! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😊

      Like

      1. Oh, you are very welcome! 🙏👍💗📖📙

        Like

  38. I like the spirit of the tree’s owners, that is really something. Love the poem too, John. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mark 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  39. Really nice story, John. Love the aerial view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a good one.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. This is so sweet! Every year, my husband’s family plants their Christmas tree in the frontyard. The largest one is now towering twice as high as our house. But we never decorated them – this story makes me think we should 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that would be a good idea, Jelena. Thank you for the visit and sharing your experience. Best wishes to you. 😁

      Like

  41. Müstakil ev apartman dairesinden iyi oluyor

    Like

    1. Bence haklısın. Teşekkürler

      Like

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