Fovant Village English Oak
This is one of The Tree Council’s 60 educational tree planting schemes with children that
were inspired by the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Each tree, provided by The Tree
Council, was chosen and planted by volunteers in the community.
Sixty years ago, members of Fovant Silver Band marched down Fovant High Street and along the A30 to play on the cricket pitch at East Farm for the Wiltshire village’s celebration of the Queen’s Coronation.
In 1953 Fovant Band was amalgamated with Shaftesbury Town Silver Band. Because of the close historical connection, the village wanted to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with the band, so it was asked to play once again on the cricket pitch at East Farm.
As recorded by the Fovant History Group, the weather on Coronation Day “was bitterly cold – as cold as an average day in winter”. Sunday 24th March 2013 was said to be one of the coldest days
in March for 50 years, with the temperature below freezing and a strong north-easterly wind. Two inches of snow had fallen in Fovant the Sunday before.
Despite this, more than 60 local people attended the Diamond Jubilee event, including a few who remembered the Coronation, and Andy Havard, Chairman of the Parish Council, welcomed everyone.
The Reverend Kate Fergusson blessed the English oak, expressing the hope that generations to come would remember the day it was planted to celebrate the Queen’s reign and would protect and preserve it.
James Nuttall (aged nine), who lives in the village, played the National Anthem on his trumpet.
Then the band played on stoically while the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton, was introduced to as many people as possible.
When introduced to Mr Peter Wyatt, who lived in Fovant at the
time of the Coronation, she asked
him if he remembered it. “Yes, certainly,” he said. “That was the year
I was married.”
“Well,” she replied, “that was a particularly important year for me because that was the year I was born.”
When someone remarked, “What a shame about the freezing weather”, the reply was, “But we’re British!”.
Photographs - top to bottom:
- 1. Fovant band, 60 years ago.
- 2. James Nuttall plays the National Anthem.
- 3. The Reverend Kate Fergusson blesses the tree.
- 4. Darren Potter, a Fovant parish councillor, digs the hole for the Diamond Jubilee oak in preparation for the ceremonial planting.
- 5. The Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Sarah Troughton, the Queen’s representative in Wiltshire, receives a bouquet from Jodie Haskins, aged six.
- 6. Freezing weather makes hot drinks and refreshments, served from the cricket pavilion, very welcome.
- 7. And the band played on...