Beech Tree War Memorial

Beech Tree in Question

Some of you may be aware that the large beech tree on the green near to the swings is to be felled. It is diseased and potentially dangerous. Instead of reducing it to a stump we are having it carved to create a war memorial bringing together those who made the greatest sacrifice from Hauxwell, Constable Burton and Finghall onto one memorial. A tree/wood carver has been consulted as to the feasibility of the proposal and he has confirmed that the tree is ideal for carving.

Below is a draft copy of a plaque that will be attached at eye level to the memorial. It shows all of the names to be engraved on the plaque.

Funding is being sort and the costs of this project are approximately:

  1. Felling of the tree to about 20′ – Is being met by Mr Charles Wyvill.
  2. Carving – £1,500.
  3. Brass plaque – £200.

Within our community there will be people who may:

  1. Have ideas for the design of the memorial. It is currently thought that the design should be simple with clean lines and reflect peace and hope. Your ideas my be submitted as a sketch or as a written description.
  2. Have ideas for the design and size of the plaque. As above.
  3. Wish to contribute to the cost of the project.
  4. Have background knowledge about those being remembered.
  5. Know of someone who should be remembered who currently is not.
  6. Point of contact is George Tomlin at his email address


12 thoughts on “Beech Tree War Memorial

  1. Chris Green - Newsletter posted in the village

    There may be some residents that I have missed posting a newsletter to in the village. my apologies if you are one of those, so below is that newsletter, unfortunately the pictures of the proposed carving or a hole cut into the base of the trunk in the newsletter have not ‘cut & paste’ into this. Should you require a picture before the meeting then please email me at

    Dear Resident,
    I am writing to you regarding the proposed tree stump for the Village Green.

    There seems to be a growing opposition, myself included, against the carving of the tree and also the suggestion of making it into a War Memorial, but there seems to be no co-ordination of the views of those for, or against this proposal.

    On the 19th July 2019 I met with George Tomlin to find out more about this proposal, and below are the questions and answers – to give you some facts so that you are forewarned before the meeting on the 30th.

    1) When was it decided for this War Memorial to be constructed ?
    A – It was at the beginning of the year !

    2) Who decided to start this project ?
    A – George stated that it was himself alone! He knew that the tree was coming down and so rather than see it disappear into a stump George decided to do something with it. He approached Charles Wyvill who owns the tree and obviously the land and he agreed.

    3) Why wasn’t the village consulted ?
    A – They were – it was on the minutes of the Reading Room meeting on their website.
    (I stated that I never knew anything about this until a few weeks ago, and I, like lots of residents hardly go onto the website).

    4) From reading the proposed agenda for this meeting it looks like this project is going to go ahead regardless.
    A – George – ‘Regardless of what ?’
    I stated regardless of the objections from the village.
    George stated that if the village objected and there was enough objections then the project would not go ahead. George stated that it was going to be a work or art.

    5) How high is the tree to be?
    A – Originally it was to be 20ft but now it will be left at 30Ft. This is to be discussed on Friday. (Now Tuesday).
    I asked if George he had any further ideas regarding the design and he said that he had not.

    6) I asked if George if he was on the Village Committee and he said that he wasn’t.

    7) I stated that with there being a ‘Start Date’ on the agenda it seemed that this project was already decided upon – was there a start date ?
    A – There is no start date because of the lack of funding.
    Charles Wyvill has already spent £1,500 cutting the tree down.
    George stated that he has a grant of £300 for the Memorial Plaque.
    Richmondshire Council have been asked for a grant of £1,000 towards the project.
    There is still £1,500 to find for the carving of the tree.

    8) Have Hauxwell and Finghall been consulted about this project yet? (Being that the names of the ‘fallen’ are to be put onto the plaque from Hauxwell and Finghall).
    George stated that they had not been consulted but the Reverend Chris ??? had been informed.

    9) Some residents do not think that a War Memorial next to a children’s play area is a suitable place for it. I asked George what his views on a War Memorial being next to a children’s play area are and he stated, ‘ Super – because it will be a work of art.’
    10) What will the carving look like ?
    A – It will mainly be the plaque but Mr Charles Wyvill wants a crucifix carved into the tree as well.

    11) I asked who the artist was! The artist is Lucas Beden. He is eastern European but comes from Darlington. He had carved the tree in Richmond Park should anyone want to see his work(below), and George stated that he would bring some pictures of his work along to the meeting.

    My thoughts are:
    The War Memorial should NOT be on the Village Green and certainly not adjacent to the play area!
    I also think that a War Plaque mounted onto such a carving is disrespectful to those ‘fallen,’ and I have a much more suitable venue for this memorial.
    There is a parking problem throughout the village and by having a Memorial placed here on say Armistice Day would exacerbate that problem, especially with the car park ramp damaging some vehicles that use it.
    The village green should be left to look natural and that this proposed carving, to me, ‘cheapens’ the green makes it look like ‘Blackpool.’
    I think that the height of the tree should be reduced by half to be cut just below the lower removed limb, as others think as well.
    Instead I would like to see a simple hole cut into the trunk of the tree (as shown below), giving children wonder, (like Alice in Wonderland). This is a far gentler outlook than a War Memorial.

    Please feel free to send me your comments either by post, or email, before or after the meeting on the 30th July.

    Mr Chris Green,
    St Andrews Cottage, (attached to the Reading Room).
    Constable Burton.


  2. Win McQueen

    Dear Mr. Green,

    Thank you for your letter and it’s information about the tree stump. You are right, I did not know about it.

    In fact I have no objections to the proposal to carve the stump. I think, however, that your objection to it becoming a war memorial on the grounds that traffic problems would ensue should be taken seriously. I also feel very strongly that it should go ahead only when, and if, a majority of villagers agree to it, especially those who, unlike myself, look out over it or pass it on a daily basis.

    Best wishes,

    Win McQueen
    (Old Etherby, Bank Top)

  3. Chris Green

    Comment following the news letter sent throughout the village :

    Excellent points well-made Chris, thank you
    I totally agree, something of wonder for children to ask questions. I recently handed in a fossil from my garden to the reading rooms, exactly for that same purpose.

    Can add a suggestion to also add nesting ports, dowel perches and nesting boxes. I feel a display board of our wonderful wildlife in and around the village would be appropriate


  4. Chris Green

    Hello George & Hilly,
    I have been informed by a resident in the village that there is to be a meeting this Thursday 18th July 2918 regarding the outcome of what happens to this tree stump on the Village Green. I do not know what time!
    Is this the case please, and if so what time, and where ?
    If this is not the case, is there to be a meeting at some time regarding this project of what happens to this tree stump where the villagers can have their opinions heard please ?
    I do think that the villagers should have their comments heard before any decision is made regarding the future of this tree stump that will be here for many years to come !
    Kind regards

  5. Mr Chris Green

    Hello George,
    I have had second thoughts on my previous reply to you about the tree stump on the village green, even before having read the replies from others.
    Whilst I have the fullest of respect for those ‘fallen’ I do wonder if a war memorial immediately adjacent to a children’s play area is a suitable venue for such a memorial !
    The design and carving of the tree is unknown, and I would not wish it to bring down the beauty of the natural ambiance of the village green. To this end I would like to see the tree being cut down completely to a stump of around 1m which could be used to create a table or a seat or just left as a stump bringing back nature to the green.

  6. Steve Shaw

    Can I ask, at what stage the carving of the tree stump moved from being a good but fluid concept that was up for broad discussion, to a foregone conclusion that it should become a war memorial?
    Whilst it is indeed a laudable and noble proposition to create a memorial in memory of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, (especially as we don’t have one). The original thought was that we should invite a chainsaw carver to suggest what could be achieved using the natural form of the tree stump. None of this has been discussed by the village committee never mind the wider community.
    In reality I have no particular objection to the proposal of the memorial, just the imposition of the overarching decision.
    My original thought was to create something along the lines of the one in Carlton Minniott, but possibly with various wildlife such as Owl, Pheasant, possibly a Hare, so not too far from Chris’ idea, but certainly something that should be discussed and possibly voted on.

  7. Jenni shaw

    I’m not sure how we got from having the stump carved to a war memorial, not that I’m against the idea but it would have been nice to have been asked for an opinion. Surely the community should be consulted ?

    1. Emma Mills

      I totally agree with keeping it on the natural and nature theme. I feel like a classic clean lined war memorial wouldn’t suit the setting at all. It’s on a beautiful natural village green right next to all those trees, the river and all the natural inhabitants.

      How about the owl as Chris mentioned as I think this is a lovely idea. Then poppies all round the bottom mixed with corn and grasses and then maybe a hare and a stag fitting in around the natural shape of the tree. The poppies represet remembereance and the animals calmness and nature and then the owl is wise and looking down on us all much like our fallen men?

      Happy to draw up some sketches for ideas if required?

      Definitely not keen on anything too typically military or simplistic though as I just don’t feel like it will be sympathetic to the village and its setting.

    2. George Tomlin

      Apologies Jenni I did not realise people had not been consulted. I hope you can attend the meeting next Friday.

  8. Mr Chris Green

    I would like to see the top half of the felled Beech tree to be carved into the form of an Owl. This would reflect a soft image for the village green and reflect the Owls that live immediately in the trees here and of whom I hear most mornings. I live opposite the Village Green.
    The Owl image would also take into consideration the swings and play area immediately adjacent to the tree.
    The bottom half of the Beech tree could be used for the suggested War Memorial.
    I look out of my house onto the village green and so what is intended to be carved into this tree should will have some significance to myself and other neighbours, as well as the village as a whole.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.