Planting a tree for the Queen’s actual birthday

QueensBirthdayOakTreeIt felt like quite a small number of people when we set off from the village hall on the evening of 21st April 2016, but the numbers seemed to grow with every step down Long Reach, and by the time we got to the Triangle at the Mount for the short but deeply moving tree-planting ceremony, there was a fair old crowd.

As is usual with this sort of occasion, the heavy lifting had already been done beforehand (and to a very high standard), so all that remained for the chairman of the parish council to do was to shift a symbolic sod with his trowel (“out of the way, you symbolic sod”) and make a short but deeply moving speech (in fact the speech was even shorter than planned, as he had an Ed Milliband moment and left out a large chunk of what he had intended to say –  but it was remarked afterwards that many people felt that this omission improved the speech still further).

The assembled multitude then spontaneously burst into a short but deeply moving rendition of God Save the Queen, after which everyone decamped for the real attraction of the evening: the lighting of the beacon at the Needle.

It was quite an evening: the sheer strangeness of the needle seen close up (like the mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey), together with the paganistic lighting of the huge bonfire (reminiscent, perhaps, of the final scenes of The Wicker Man), with senses enhanced by the generous hospitality of the landowners, combined to create quite a weird, although thoroughly enjoyable, experience.