Posted by: madkentdragon | July 19, 2010

The Beauty of Bath Apple Tree

When I was little and Noah was still building his Ark; I lived in accommodation behind a general grocery shop – the type that sold everything, but that’s not what this story is about – you see behind the shop was a very big garden. Well it seemed big to me and it had a terrace of about 10 “2 up  2 down” type houses backing on to one side of the garden – so it must have been sizeable. Any way I digress, you see, taking up about one quarter of the garden, was an enormous apple tree; it was so big that my seven-year old arms would not reach round the trunk!

This was my wondrous “Wendy House”, full of blossom in the spring with lily of the valley, violets, forget- me- nots and primroses growing round the trunk and a swing made up of wood from a box from the shop and the rope tied to one of the sturdy branches that I would also climb up on.

But I was not allowed to climb the tree until after the baby birds had fledged, with Whiskey my cat eyeing them up from the ground. The tree had never been pruned and he had learned that he got trapped if he ventured along the tangled branches with birds dive-bombing him!

The tree gave shade in the heat of the summer and many a Sunday lunch was eaten under that tree, often customers who needed something urgently but illegally from the shop would pop by and join us in a glass of lemonade or cream soda – my parents were virtually TT – whilst dad popped into the shop to “lend” them a tin of fruit; Sunday trading laws were very strict then.

Then late August came the apples, always a good harvest and some would be sold in the shop with the other fruit grown in the garden. None of the trees or bushes were ever pruned but still produced a good harvest; thinking back, was more by luck than judgement. But it was still “my” tree where as I grew, I dreamed my dreams, read books or even did homework away from the pressure of parental demands of trying harder.

Then the shop was sold and we had to move, Dad had only been a tenant, and on a cold January morning just before my 14th birthday, I said “Goodbye” to that old Beauty of Bath tree which I’d shared so much with. The shop was demolished and a modern bungalow was built in its stead and the tree was no more.

Even now, I sometimes miss that old tree and the magic and safety it shared with me.



  1. Yes, “progress isn’t always an improvement, especially when it means cutting down a tree!

    Lovely story – can absolutely see that “Wendy House” and smell the blossom 🙂

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