A set of Christmas lights bought from a Woolworths store for £3 are still going strong – 48 years on.
Vina Shaddick, 68, who lives in Plymouth, has displayed them proudly in her living room every Christmas since 1969, and has only had to change one bulb.
Vina has become ill and had to go into a care home in 2015 – but her son Ross, 38, pledged to keep them burning bright in her honour for as long as they last.
He believes they are Britain’s oldest set of Christmas lights.
Ross Shaddick, from Plymouth, with the Christmas lights that were purchased from Woolworths in 1969
The lights were bought from Woolies 48 years ago and take pride of place in the front window
Ross Shaddick (pictured left, in 1982) and (right, today) with the same Christmas lights still glowing
He said: ‘I’m looking forward to hopefully marking 50 years, the main thing is to look after them really well.
‘I put them away with them still on the tree so we don’t have to keep wrapping them and unwrapping them.’
The music teacher added: ‘I will only have them on if I’m in the room with them – to keep an eye on them. As the years go on I increase my checks.
‘I don’t know if there will come a time when they stop working or they’re not worth the danger.
‘The worst issue is if the plastic around the wire begins to deteriorate. But they are the very stable component in my life. It’s nice to keep the tradition going.
‘The old lights are much better quality than what you get these days and they seem to be made of strong stuff.
Ross, pictured as a boy, next to the Christmas lights that were bought from a Woolies in 1969
‘I’ll carry on putting it up until the lights fizzle out.
‘They are older than me and have been here all my life. It’s been a constant and I hope they keep on working.’
Ross said the lights were more durable than the LED version he bought two years ago for £20, which are already on the blink.
But he added: ‘The news ones do flash – that’s the beauty of technology now. You can do things that are so versatile.’
He claimed he’d never had to change a single bulb.
The colourful string lights were bought in the same year the Beatles performed their final show on the roof of the Abbey Road studios
Ross, pictured in 1972 as a baby, gazing at the Christmas lights that are still going strong
Mr Shaddick grins while holding up the 48-year-old lights that are still glowing
Vina has become ill and had to go into a care home in 2015 – but her son Ross, 38, pledged to keep them burning bright in her honour for as long as they last
In a previous interview Vina said: ‘I can still remember buying them. It was the second year I was married and I went in my lunchtime.
‘Word had got round that Woolies had a special delivery of lights from Germany.
‘They hold a lot of memories for me. They really don’t make them like this anymore.
‘I can’t imagine a set bought today – which are much pricier – lasting as well as these.
‘I guess you could say I’ve had my money’s worth from them.
‘They’ve never let me down and it’s looking as though they might outlast me now.’
It is estimated that the lights – which cost just £3 for the set – have been shining for more than 30,000 hours