Woolworths 1920s Christmas nativity scene still going strong - BBC News

2022-04-25 06:56:04 By : Ms. Sky Liu

A Nativity scene bought from Woolworths almost 100 years ago is still going strong despite a few "little chips", its owner said.

Louise Kuhn, from Loddon, Norfolk, said it was bought from the Norwich store in the late 1920s by her grandfather.

Each of the figures cost sixpence each and was given to her mother, who passed it to her.

Ms Kuhn said: "I think of it precious. I've not got very much left of my parents things."

The US retail giant opened its first UK store in 1909, but as Woolworths' centenary approached, the chain's fortunes had declined and the last of its 800 British stores closed in 2009.

Ms Kuhn said the tradition in their house was that the scene would be unpacked and put on display on Christmas Eve.

Her mother gave it to her after she got married and it had survived six house moves.

The 61-year-old said there were more figures available to buy from Woolworths, but "unfortunately my grandfather died shortly after they were purchased, so my mother never got the complete set".

Woolworths sold "chalkware" Nativity scenes in the interwar period - gypsum plaster moulded into figures.

Ms Kuhn said there were "lot of little bits that have been chipped off" over the years including the sheep, who has a missing leg, and the angel with a chipped wing.

"Also one year, with my mum, we decide to paint it, with my paint-by-numbers set, and that didn't go so well, but otherwise it is in great condition and we put it out every year," she said.

She said she did not think her two daughters realised how significant the decoration was yet, but added: "It's one of those little things that mean a lot to me."

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