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Sylvia Pope aka Swansea’s ‘Nana Baubles’ breaks world record with 1,700 Christmas decorations

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Sylvia Pope, 79, has a colossal collection of Christmas baubles.

It’s so large in fact, that she has broken the record for the world’s largest collection of Christmas bauble ornaments.

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Sylvia, also known as Nana Baubles, lives in Swansea and owns a staggering 1,760 of the hanging decorations. 

However, she predicts the number will go well over 2,000 in the next year or two!

Her fascinating collection spreads throughout her house, with beautiful baubles hanging from the ceilings as well as on display outside her house.

Other than your classic Christmas decorations, Nana Baubles’ collection counts many unique and quirky items. 

They all differ in shape, material and colours and come from every corner of the world.

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Nana Baubles with her World Record breaking collection (Image: Guinness World Records)

Sylvia said: “It was back in 1999. My son, who lived in Brighton, invited us to spend New Year with him. We went to a friend’s house for a drink and, when I walked in, they had the baubles on the ceiling. It was fantastic. I thought, ‘oh my god, this is wonderful’. They were from all over the world. And then I thought, ‘I’m going to try this.’”

After that, she started buying baubles in boxes. Soon after, people started gifting her different items.

Nana Baubles took years to put together such a collection, with different pieces from everywhere in the world. 

Some come from iconic shops in the UK, such as Liberty London and Harrods, while some were brought back by her loved ones during their travels abroad. 

Some are unique collectables pieces, and some – like the little red bauble gifted to Nana by her great-grandson – hold a very special sentimental value.

There’s a huge selection of baubles which cover the ceiling and many surfaces in Nana Baubles’ home (Image: Guinness World Records)

It’s exciting to admire the variety in Nana Baubles’ decorations, which cover the ceiling and many surfaces in her home.

“They are more like a Christmas decoration than a bauble, aren’t they?” Nana Baubles says, talking about her majestic collection and its many different pieces. 

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Not all of her baubles necessarily stick to the classic round shape. They are not all festive-themed, either.

Among her many treasures, Nana Baubles also owns crab and lobster-shaped ornaments, food-shaped ones (like hamburgers and popcorn) and even telephone boxes and Disney characters. 

There’s a huge selection of baubles which cover the ceiling and many surfaces in Nana Baubles’ home (Image: Guinness World Records)
There’s a huge selection of baubles which cover the ceiling and many surfaces in Nana Baubles’ home (Image: Guinness World Records)

One can even spot a personalised bauble with Nana Bauble’s name on it!

The oldest baubles she owns are pink and blue ones from the 2000s, which is when she first started collecting them.

The most valuable item in Nana Baubles’ collection was gifted to her by her granddaughter, a beautiful Royal Tea bauble. 

This precious Royal Doulton is a special edition bauble created for the Queen’s Golden Anniversary, and it is very close to her heart.

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There’s a huge selection of baubles which cover the ceiling and many surfaces in Nana Baubles’ home (Image: Guinness World Records)

“Christmas was always a family affair,” Nana Baubles recounts about her childhood.

It was the only time Sylvia’s family had chicken and a few presents as a special treat, although she always received one present for her birthday and Christmas combined, as her birthday falls on Boxing Day.

On Christmas morning, she would find a stocking filled with one orange and nuts. Then, she would go downstairs to open the present. 

It wasn’t a lot, Nana Baubles says, but they were always happy.

“We weren’t very well off, we didn’t have a lot, and that is why today I will do what I can and afford what I can afford to have a good Christmas for the children.”

Every year, surrounded by the spectacle of her festive baubles, Nana Baubles always tries her best to give her loved ones a beautiful celebration.

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“I think it’s a children’s time. I think Christmas is a wonderful time to excite the children, so I do believe you should do the best you can for them.”

Craig Glenday, Editor in Chief at Guinness World Records said: “We all need a bit of yuletide cheer right now, and records like these really put a smile on your face. Nana Baubles clearly has an infectious passion for Christmas and has created her own record-breaking winter wonderland at home. It’s wonderful to be able to share her joy of the festive season with the rest of the world.”

(Lead image: Guinness World Records)

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