A royal tribute to the Queen on her diamond jubilee or a personal memorial to a loved one – residents of Marlborough are going to be given the chance to plant mature trees to celebrate next year’s historic occasion or a loved family member or friend.
With plans to plant 17 red horse chestnut trees in Frees Avenue, the road across the Common, the town council’s Amenities and Open Spaces Committee decided on Tuesday to make the event a special one.
At the cost of £200 a time, individuals or organisations can use the run up to next year’s diamond jubilee to provide a permanent new look to the road, possibly starting this year and continuing into next.
Ten of the new trees – in the gaps between the existing ones — will be on the Common side of the road and the other seven opposite them, providing an annual avenue of red conical flowers as the trees grow to a majestic height.
Already Councillor Edwina Fogg, next year’s jubilee mayor who came up with the idea, has promised to pay for one of the chestnuts and Councillor Caroline Jackson, who pointed out that the project might follow a memorial scheme run by the National Trust, a second tree.
And Councillor Bryan Castle is contemplating a third in memory of a family member.
“It is an excellent idea to tie in the planting with the Queen’s diamond jubilee, and a very positive suggestion for residents to plant memorial trees as well,” committee chairman Councillor Richard Pitts told Marlborough News Online.
He has himself planted a memorial oak tree in Cornwall to his late father, Gordon Pitts, a wartime navigator flying Lancaster bombers over Germany, who worried whether he would ever return from the dangerous raids.
“People only die when they are no longer remembered,” he said. “A tree that will last decades has a positive meaning and a direct connection that keeps their memory alive.”
“It’s a fantastic way to remember people and I hope other people in the town will want to do the same, either to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee or provide a memorial to a loved one or someone special in their lives.” “I do hope we get a good response.”
The trees project has been designed by the council’s head gardener, Dave Purkiss, who has also suggested that the council create a Marlborough in Bloom site in the High Street to mark diamond jubilee, possibly in time for the Olympic torch relay through the town in May.