Because of this, and over the Christmas period, my Great grandfather Walter would light the candles on the tree and the local children from the Burton Street area would come to look through the shop window to experience the magic of a candle-lit Christmas tree. Sadly that little corner shop is no longer there... but my Great Aunty recalled to me this memory from her childhood, and she claimed her father would only light them twice. Candles were very expensive! In hindsight, she also wondered how on earth he didn't burn the place down! (but people didn't bother too much for 'health and safety' back then, so no one really worried. I also suspect during those years there were a few 'near-misses' and some frantic blowings out!)
Fast forward (a little bit) to the early 1970's, and to the present family tradition of selling Christmas trees, which was revived by the granddaughter of Walter and Florence (my mum) from her small, but busy and profitable fruit and flower shops in Crossgates Leeds, and Wetherby.
As this seasonal business grew and became more successful, larger premises were required and in 1976 the beginnings of the large-scale operation we have today were started by my mum and uncle from the site of The Old Golf Club on Boroughbridge Road, just outside Knaresborough which incorporated both wholesale and retail sales, as most of the trees back then were imported from Belgium.
In the late 1990's, due to local popularity and further growth of the retail side of the business, we relocated to the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. We also started our own Christmas tree plantation just outside Knaresborough to feed the growing demand and desire for 'real trees' as our customer base was growing, and people were starting to become more environmentally aware.
We have now been at our Yorkshire Showground 'home' since 2001. Our business mainly concentrates on the retail side whilst we supply and support smaller local retail outlets with wholesale supply, and our company ethos now concentrates upon locally sourced trees so we can reduce our carbon footprint through transportation. This is why we now source our Christmas trees as much as possible from plantations across the Yorkshire area in an attempt to make us as environmentally friendly as possible.