Lathom St James School Bramley
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.
Lathom was the historic home of the Earls of Derby, and the first Earl’s second wife was Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. The 18th-century house that replaced the one partly destroyed in the Civil War had a pleasure garden as well as a kitchen garden. This later house was demolished after World War I, but the pleasure garden remains with some now- magnificent trees, including a rather fine apple, hence the choice of a Bramley’s Seedling for our Lancashire school.
In the same year as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, our small village school celebrated being open for over 160 years. The 78 children calculated that when Princess Elizabeth was being crowned, their school must have been celebrating its centenary.
The children planned where our tree would be happiest, how and when it should be planted and, very importantly, who should plant it. The children on our school council group decided that we should ask a special friend, Tom Holland. He was chosen for many reasons: he farms the land around our school and waves to us from his tractor.
The school council also decided that his two grandchildren, Thomas and Ava, together with the school’s two youngest pupils, Fallon Davies and Scarlet McManus, should help him to plant our tree.
On 17th April 2013, a rare sunny day after several very frosty nights over Easter which the tree had spent wrapped in an eiderdown in the garden of Tree Warden Andrew Beeston, our Bramley was planted on our school field.
Meanwhile, our gardening club had won a competition with a poem telling the story of their many achievements, despite challenges and set-backs. Some of the prize money was used to buy a circular bench to surround the Jubilee Diamond Tree, with individual, personalised cushions made by children and parents.
We call it our Peace Bench, a title chosen by the children to demonstrate the ethos behind our school’s prayer, believing that peace in our world can begin at home and school. This prayer was part of the service held around the planting of our Jubilee Diamond Tree.
An account of the tree planting has been added to the time capsule that children in the oldest class, Wise Owls, put together to bury in the walls of the loft conversion which houses their
Photographs - top to bottom:
- 1. Pupils of Westhead Lathom St James C of E Primary School with their Jubilee tree.
- 2. Planting the Bramley apple.
- 3. Andrew Beeston, Tom Holland, Thomas Holland, Ava Holland, Scarlett McManus, Fallon Davies.
- 4. The tree planting team is joined by the school’s Headteacher, Alison Albion.