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The Hurricane Tree

A special place of remembrance..

13 January 2010

Standing at the junction of an old drove road and access to Roseden Farm in Northumberland, you will find an impressive ash tree, albeit not yet of great age. It has been rather heavily pollarded due to the fact that its branches were in danger of falling into the road.

Eye-catching it most certainly is, but there is much more to this tree than meets the eye… it has witnessed what, quite literally, may be described as some “active service”.

On January 14th 1944 it was hit by a Hurricane - not of the storm variety, but a fighter plane which crashed while on a low level training flight. Only seconds before, the plane had passed over the heads of some children who were walking home for lunch, miraculously avoiding them by a narrow margin. It then hit the ground before flipping up, smashing into the tree and finally coming to rest in the farmyard.

The pilot, 136422 F/O Look-Yan, was left hanging by his harness in the tree and, tragically, did not survive the impact. The tree stands as a constant, and poignant, memorial to him and is naturally a place of great significance both for the pilot’s family and the local farmer.

This is most definitely not one of our happiest Tree of the Moment articles but it proves that trees like The Hurricane Tree can mean so many things to so many people for a multitude of reasons..

The Hurricane Tree ATH: Photo/ Shaun Hackett