Christmas comes to the National Trust for Scotland’s Tenement House in Glasgow’s Garnethill this weekend.
The extraordinary property is closed for the winter but reopens for two days to show how Christmas was celebrated in the early 20th century, complete with traditional paper and fabric garlands, Christmas music and the parlour laid out for a special dinner.
In particular, visitors will also be able to see a unique collection of vintage Christmas cards gathered over the course of more than 60 years by the Tenement House’s resident Agnes Reid Toward. The cards range from festive pop-ups to die-cut cards with dates from 1911 to 1975.
A shorthand typist for a shipping company, Miss Toward lived at the Tenement House from 1911 until 1965 when she took ill and moved into a hospital. The house stood still in time and remained virtually untouched when she died 10 years later.
It was taken into the care of the National Trust for Scotland in 1982 and the conservation charity has gone to great lengths to preserve as much of its antique atmosphere as possible, painstakingly preserving the array of furniture, objects, papers, recipes and photographs that Miss Toward had accumulated over the years.
Ana Sanchez-De la Vega, visitor services supervisor at Tenement House, said: ‘Christmas cards were designed to be used for only a short time, so it’s wonderful that these have survived.
‘Our love of technology has meant that the tradition of sending cards at Christmas is dying out, making it even more important that we treasure these mementos from years gone by.
‘Caring for and showcasing these wonderful festive objects is just one of the many ways in which the National Trust for Scotland is showing its love for Scotland and we are delighted to share them with our visitors.’
The Special Christmas Opening event at Tenement House will take place on 15 December (hourly from 11am-5pm) and 16 December (hourly from 11am-1pm).
The property reopens to the public on 26 March, 2019.
For more information on the National Trust for Scotland, visit www.nts.org.uk.