Esme, 101, Sparkles At Christmas Tree Festival

EsmeShe may have already celebrated 100 Christmases, but Esme Bannister couldn’t contain her joy when she witnessed dozens of festive trees decorated by her community.

Esme, a resident at Colten Care’s Brook View care home in West Moors, was invited along to the annual Christmas Tree Festival at St Martin’s United Reformed Church.

Brook View is one of 30 community groups, businesses, schools and charities which entered the festival this year.

The home’s residents made their own paper decorations for their tree, while others adorned theirs with photographs, sweets, knitted baubles and even plastic bottles.

St Martin’s Church Secretary Muriel Moore, has been organising the event for the last four years and said this was the biggest yet:

“In our first year we had 12 trees and it has grown every year,” she explained.

“The Festival was started to bring the community together at Christmas and this year we had trees throughout the church, and in our adjoining room.

“It is getting pretty full, although we do still have the vestibule – which is just as well as we already have more groups asking if they can take part next year.

“The tree which drew the most comments this year was the one from Ferndown Upper School,” she added. “It was made entirely from plastic bottles, which was very unusual but very interesting.”

The Christmas Tree Festival is free to visit, but collections are made for a local and national charity. This year the event collected for the newly-formed charity West Moors Dementia Action and Macmillan Nurses.

Esme put the finishing touches to the Brook View tree with her own decoration.

She said: “The sight of all these beautiful trees fills me with joy. You just can’t help smiling when you look at them.

“There are trees decorated by tiny children and even one featuring dogs looking for new homes.

“It’s the perfect example of Christmas spirit.”