Twenty Eight Years Later

Let me take you back twenty-eight years, to the heady days of my childhood, when, for a couple of years, I went to school in the beautiful, idyllic village of Kingswear. I lived in the sticks as they say and travelled to school in a school taxi, with a group of children who lived in various farms and cottages in the surrounding area. The school was made up of two classes, infants and juniors and there were approximately forty-five children.

It was at this school that I made a small historical film about the plague, shared homemade cakes with my best friend, handed flowers to the Duchess of Devonshire when she visited Kingswear and earnt the nickname Drowning Dawn. OK, OK, so I let go of my floats and almost drowned; I was seven for goodness sake! Children are so original.


“Kingswear and the Dart s1” by Herbythyme – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Commons

I also planted a Rowan tree as part of the a project for the South Devon Heritage Coast. I can safely say they were some of the happiest days of my childhood. I wanted to find out what had happened to my little tree, planted twenty-eight years ago, so I set about investigating.

I used to have a tree passport with a picture of me with my little sapling Rowan tree, proudly planted. I have no idea where that has gone. If only we knew how important these things were.

Next stop was to try the school themselves, but considering all the staff have changed and so has the school, considerably, I unsurprisingly, got no response.

I asked my dad about it when he came to visit, not really expecting him to remember much, it was a long time ago, but her remembered it was organised by the South Devon Heritage Coast and we all planted trees in a field close to the school.

So I tried Google Earth. Kingswear’s a small village and I could see some small fields full of mature trees, but which one was our field? I couldn’t be sure.

Kingswear School Google earth

Google earth screen shot – Kingswear

I tried searching for newspaper articles from 1987 for the area that the trees were planted in, as I have a vague recollection of the local press being there. I found nothing.

Newspaper bundle

image via

Unfortunately that’s where my search ends, without my tree just an aerial view of what is possibly where the trees were planted.

One thing it did make me realise is that since the advent of the internet, we have become very used to information at our fingertips. We often take it for granted and in this case there is no information that I can find as it predates Google and Yahoo.

One day perhaps I will visit Kingswear again and try to track it down. Until then I will be content in the knowledge that, hopefully, somewhere in Kingswear is a little tree that is now twenty-eight years old and growing strong, because I planted it all those years ago.

Kingwear Google earth

Google earth screen shot – Kingswear & The Dart

I’d love to hear if you’ve planted a tree and if you know how it’s doing. Don’t forget to let me know in the comments below.


2 thoughts on “Twenty Eight Years Later

  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    What a great story! Goes to show that you can do some good without even knowing at the time what you’re doing. I hope you do find that tree. And you’re right about the Internet. We are getting quite accustomed to finding out whatever we want to know, whenever we want to know it…


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