A member of the Gardening Club who helps maintain Jerusalem Island writes, "to paraphrase slightly, the Bible requires us to 'love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul' and secondly 'to love thy neighbour as thyself'. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." He continues, "If these words are to be more than pious rhetoric, we must care for and cherish our environment so that our children and children's children may survive and prosper. Generations of Barrow people coming down the High Street have been uplifted by the sight of a mighty Cedar of Lebanon reaching into the sky. The life of this noble tree, still in its prime, has been cut short through damage and disease brought on by human selfishness. We shall lament its passing."
By the time you read this, the magnificent cedar tree on Holbourne Close will be no more. It had been discovered that the tree was diseased, due to the fact that it had been vandalised some years ago and therefore the decision was made to fell it.
What a sad world we live in, when people destroy such a wonderful feat of nature. The tree was estimated to be 300 years old, so armed with a tape measure (industrial size) we thought we would make a note of its dimensions.The girth was 5.7metres and the canopy approximately 25 metres across, a truly magnificent specimen. It is strange going along the High Street towards Jerusalem Island and not seeing the majestic branches of the tree. I always presumed that the cedar had been planted when Barrow House, the home of John Crossley, the railway engineer, was built and the gardens landscaped but as the house was built in the mid 1800s, the tree pre dates the house by some considerable time, so when and why was it planted?
Last year when we had open gardens, the area around the cedar tree was used to serve tea and home made cakes - what a perfect setting. How many garden parties in the past were held in the same place, or how many courting couples used to sit under the tree on a summers day? I know of at least two village girls who met their future husbands, when they were young men on teacher training courses, staying at Barrow House, which was by this time owned by Loughborough College.
I am sure that they, as well many other people will be sad that this living link with Barrow’s past is no more, although it will still exist in the form of garden features, as many people have taken some wonderful wood from its sawn up branches.
I believe that at some time in the future another cedar tree will be planted for the enjoyment of several generations to come.