The Waterfurlong Horse Chestnuts
This magical, painterly photograph was taken back in May 2003 by Waterfurlong gardener Huw of his little nephew Fred running down the lane through the fallen horse chestnut blossoms.
We've recently discovered that the trees lining the west side of Waterfurlong were planted in 1908 and 1909 as part of an initiative to beautify the town by Tom Sandall and the then mayor, Thomas Duncomb. Tom Sandall wrote the following letter to the editor of the Stamford Guardian:
THE ROAD-SIDE TREE PLANTING AT STAMFORD
Sir, - You were good enough as to state in your issue last week that some 300 more trees had been given for planting upon the road sides near Stamford this season. I have only to add that the ready response I received to applications when made was doubtless to some extent due to your courtesy in publishing the appeal I made in a letter of 18th November last which you inserted at that time.
The scheme appeared to meet with general approval. The list of subscribers this year numbers over 80 and last season there were 37 so that 120 donors have taken part in the presentation of the 600 trees being planted in 1908 and 1909. These donors may rest assured that future generations will appreciate the improving appearance which these trees will year by year give to the approaches to our town. That the donors’ names may not be forgotten I am copying the 120 names upon parchment leaves and intend inserting them as an appendix in one of the several Stamford Histories in the Phillips collection of Stamford Books and Pamphlets (if there is no objection to my so doing) which is at the Town Hall. It might interest the Stamfordians of 50 or 100 years hence to learn that their grandfathers or great grandfathers took part in what is now being done.
I am Sir,
17th February 1909
The Corporation paid for the planting of the saplings and Mr Duncomb for wire-netting to protect them.
Tom Sandall's little hand-
written list of subscribers, with its pale green cover and gold lettering, remains in the Phillips Collection. Most of the limes, silver birches and horse chestnuts were planted along four of Stamford's main approach routes - Ryhall, Uffington, Empingham and Tinwell Roads. Although many of these trees have sadly been butchered in recent years, I think Messrs Sandall and Duncomb would be delighted to see how magnificent they are looking in our corner of the town.
© Karen Meadows 2019
Photograph of Waterfurlong © Huw Wigmore 2003. All Rights Reserved.