Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

Turnstone Column: Hunstanton writer John Maiden eases worries over fears for old primary school trees





In his weekly Turnstone column, Hunstanton writer John Maiden eases fears over the future of a number of trees in the town.

Last month, I waxed lyrical about the importance of preserving mature trees and on the need to plant new trees in order to tackle climate change, while improving the quality of the air we breathe.

After describing the outcry that followed the felling of a famous sycamore tree occupying a gap in Hadrian's Wall, I told of my fears for the future of a similar tree in the grounds of Hunstanton's former primary school on Valentine Road.

Trees preserved in the former primary school grounds. Picture: Rob Alflatt
Trees preserved in the former primary school grounds. Picture: Rob Alflatt

Now, I must apologise to Norfolk County Council for voicing those fears before checking all the facts.

This turned out to be much easier than expected, when I heard from several sources that the site manager Rob Alflatt would be only too happy to allay my fears over the small group of trees located in the southeast corner of the site.

After a meeting with him last week, he wrote to me to say: "Hi John. Thanks for visiting me on site.

A view of trees in the grounds of the former Hunstanton Primary School. Picture: Rob Alflatt
A view of trees in the grounds of the former Hunstanton Primary School. Picture: Rob Alflatt

“Further to our conversation regarding the trees, please see the attached photos of the trees discussed, which we have already protected to your satisfaction.

“We are committed to preserving as much of the building and grounds as possible, so hopefully everyone is pleased with this. Obviously, with current building regulations, we have to upgrade lots of the old building, but we intend using as many of the original features as we can, if this is at all possible.

“The trees are going to be be safe and will hopefully bring smiles to the faces of people for many years to come. If you have any questions, or would like to revisit the site, please feel free to contact me.

“We are now going to start emptying the headmaster's quarters and I will let you know if and when we find anything that might be of interest to you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.”

Trees being planted on The Green in Hunstanton back in 2012
Trees being planted on The Green in Hunstanton back in 2012

By the time I telephoned Rob to thank him for meeting me on-site and obtain his approval to publish the above email, he was able to confirm that attendance registers dating back to the Victorian era had already been unearthed in the head teacher's premises.

These should be of great interest to the Hunstanton Society's history group. On a personal note, it was a collection of slates in wooden frames that brought back vivid memories for me, dating back to 1943 when, as an infant, I was asked to draw a 'white on black' picture, on my slate, representing ‘the wind and the window’.

My lifelong interest in trees clearly began at an early age, because the wind was illustrated by a tree on which leafless branches were almost horizontal – very much like the poorly supported trees planted on The Green at Hunstanton by West Norfolk Council in 2012.

The window was just a cross in box! A reminder that it will soon be time for the Green Party to pick up seats in a general election, proving yet again the need for proportional representation.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More