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Real candles on Christmas tree

(56 Posts)
jura2 Tue 05-Nov-19 20:11:51

Do any of you remember having real candles on Christmas tree - and if so, which part of UK and which decade? Thanks.

DoraMarr Tue 05-Nov-19 20:14:23

We had them as children in the 1950s. It was lovely seeing them lit at night. Then one night the whole tree went up in flames, and after that we had electric ones.

ExperiencedNotOld Tue 05-Nov-19 20:20:56

Berkshire, early 1960s. They were never lit, came out every year. Spiral patterned, I think.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 05-Nov-19 20:33:01

My sister has little clear baubles which she puts tea light candles in on a real Christmas tree in her dining room, nothing else on the tree, it looks stunning.

Calendargirl Tue 05-Nov-19 20:50:50

DH’s family lived in a big old farmhouse with no electricity, they had paraffin lamps and candles well into the 1980’s.
Their ‘real’ Christmas tree always had candles on it.
A fire risk, but I suppose the whole house was.

Sussexborn Tue 05-Nov-19 20:58:46

In the 50s we had brass clip on holders for candles. They looked very pretty but were only lit once on Christmas Eve. I think my Mum took fright. Pretty but not practical.

M0nica Tue 05-Nov-19 21:03:30

I have three coloured metal tree candle holders that date back to my mother's childhood - roughly 1915 to 1930 -. They do not have candles in them but nevertheless they go on the tree every year.

Ginny42 Tue 05-Nov-19 21:03:31

We had real candles on our Christmas tree in the 1950's. They were in metal clip-on holders with a pattern. They were lit, but I think just during Christmas lunch. This was in what was then Lancashire, now Greater Manchester. The tree wasn't put up till Christmas Eve.

BlueBelle Tue 05-Nov-19 21:16:44

Yes through 50 s we had the clip on thingys with the candle in the holder they were lit but I can’t remember how long for
East anglia

MamaCaz Tue 05-Nov-19 21:23:04

An artificial tree that my grandad bought at the end of the 1930s had candle holders on the end of the branches. When I was a young child, in the 60s, I remember candles in those being lit very briefly as soon as we finished decorating the tree. (West Yorkshire)

The rest of the time, some 1930s Disney electric tree lights were used.
I still have those lights now, though they haven't been used for donkeys' years - maybe they will be worth something one day, though it will be a miracle if they still work! grin

jura2 Tue 05-Nov-19 21:24:39

So interesting. Having a conversation with Brits in Switzerland who say it was common in the 50s/60s/70s ... in the UK. And yet neither OH who lived there all his life, nor me, who lived in UK since 1970 - remember anyone, friend, neighbour, colleague, etc- who had real candles on their tree. So thanks.
Keep them coming, please.

downtoearth Tue 05-Nov-19 21:35:33

Essex,59/60 infant school,real tree nothing but candles,in the main hall,after we had eaten christmas school dinner,and sung we wish you a merry christmas,we would then be given little gift bags,holding a pencil,rubber,and some road safety material,sponsored by the Tufty club,who I believe was a squirrel who promoted road safety,we where then let loose early for the christmas holiday...happy dayssmile

52bright Tue 05-Nov-19 21:37:14

We had small candles on the tree during my childhood in the '50s. I don't ever recall them being lit though.

lemongrove Tue 05-Nov-19 21:38:29

I am amazed, thought that candles on trees ended in the 30’s.
Have never seen them ( 50’s onwards) so I doubt they were common, but obviously some families still used them.
All the Christmas trees I saw as a child had no lights at all, just plenty of tinsel.

MrsEggy Tue 05-Nov-19 21:41:45

Birmingham in the late 1940s. They were at Granny's house where all of her large family gathered. They were lit on Christmas afternoon and my uncle, who was an auxiliary fireman, always was posted by the tree as a precaution!

GrannyGravy13 Tue 05-Nov-19 21:42:02

lemongrove anything but tinsel it is a real phobia for me!!

lemongrove Tue 05-Nov-19 21:56:17

Is it the rustling sound GG13 haha.

I never use it, but when we were children it was an absolute must for the tree along with cotton wool snow.

Grandma70s Tue 05-Nov-19 22:05:19

Cheshire, early 1950s and/or possibly late 1940s. We had real candles in clip-on holders, but they were only lit for a short time. We all gazed at them, and then they were extinguished until the next evening.

Gonegirl Tue 05-Nov-19 22:07:26

I remember a Christmas when Father Christmas caught his beard on fire from the real candles on the tree.

Gonegirl Tue 05-Nov-19 22:09:47

That was in the forties.

annsixty Tue 05-Nov-19 22:28:44

We had them on our junior school Christmas tree which I left in 1948.
They were only lit I think on the day of the Christmas party which we all attended, being a very small village school.
Less than 100 children, all girls.
This was Derbyshire, the party, with games and tea was the highlight of the year.

GrandmaKT Tue 05-Nov-19 22:34:11

We were staying in a small family-run hotel in Austria 7 years ago. The family performed a little nativity procession, which ended in lighting all the candles on the (real) Christmas tree.

There was a collective intake of breath from all the British guests!!

SueDonim Tue 05-Nov-19 22:40:08

I've never seen real candles on a tree, that I can recall. That's from approx 1960-onward.

My grandad used to almost set our house on fire every year with his Christmas lights. He had an adapter that went into the ceiling light that allowed him to then plug in his string of lights, the old type that were peardrop-shaped. There'd be much fusing of the house wiring and sorties to shops to buy new bulbs for the lights, the smell of burning electrical wires and sundry bangs and flashes. It was all part of Christmas! grin

Maggiemaybe Tue 05-Nov-19 23:45:52

I brought some holders with candles back from Germany in the mid 70s for my mum and dad, as a novelty. They put them on the tree, but definitely didn’t light them. smile

B9exchange Tue 05-Nov-19 23:53:31

My school used to have an enormous Christmas tree in the hall with a very large number of candles clipped to the branches, lighting them must have been a nightmare, and I don't even recall a bucket of water in case of disaster!