The Vines Gingko
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.
The big day arrived! 26th November 2012. Medway Council’s arboriculture contractors came to The Vines at 9am. They dug the tree pit and found in the hole one small piece of blue and white Victorian pottery and an oyster shell.
The Ginkgo biloba was readied in the hole, with a small amount of mycorrhizal fungi put in the tree pit. We erected a Union flag, the Friends of The Vines banner and the park’s Green Flag Award.
The St Margaret’s at Troy Town school-children of Year 6 arrived, holding their poems to be read at the ceremony. Amazingly, after many consecutive days of rain, our event was blessed by a rare couple of hours of sunshine, and all umbrellas remained closed.
The Chair of The Vines Friends Group, Bob Ratcliffe, introduced Kent’s Lord Lieutenant, Viscount De L’Isle, the Mayor of Medway, Councillor Vaughan Hewett, and the schoolchildren, and welcomed the assembled crowd of residents and local dignitaries including Councillor Ted Baker and Rochester’s Town Crier, Robin Burfoot.
As well as formally planting the Jubilee Diamond Tree with a spadeful of soil, Lord De L’Isle talked about the importance and meaning of the ceremony. He mentioned the Ginkgo biloba tree at his home in Penshurst Place, which is now more than 150 years old and taller than the tower.
Nine children from Troy Town School read poetry and prose relating to the tree and the occasion.
Following the ceremony, the visiting dignitaries and committee members of The Friends of The Vines went to the home of Ian and Ruth McLeod for a cup of tea
Photographs - top to bottom:
- 1. Children from St Margaret’s at Troy Town School ready with their poems.
- 2. Well-wishers gather as the Chair of the Friends of The Vines, Bob Ratcliffe, welcomes the Lord Lieutenant and guests to the ceremonial planting.
- 3. Lord de L’Isle (left) formally plants the Diamond Jubilee tree, watched by Medway Mayor Councillor Vaughan Hewett (right) and Bob Ratcliffe, Chair of the Friends of The Vines (far right).
- 4. Some of the poetry and prose, inspired by the occasion.