Within a few seconds on Saturday 4th May a part of the pre-history of Brentham was suddenly gone. At about 5.20pm, in the allotments between Brunner Road and Brentham Way there was a terrific vibration as one of the huge Brentham Oaks, around 350 years old, crashed to the ground. Its massive canopy fell into several of the neighbouring gardens, a poplar tree and damaging sheds.
The owners of the allotment, Alex and Neil Sibley explained that it had been raining, there were gusting winds, and some of the now exposed roots appear to have rotted. Only a few minutes earlier their children were playing on a swing hanging from one of the branches. Luckily they had gone back into their house on Woodfield Crescent when the tree fell, thus avoiding what could have been a terrible tragedy.
This is how the tree looked in February 2018.
Below is a video of the giant oak minutes before it fell, shown courtesy of Anita Sharda and Tim Sands, whose house overlooked the tree.
Back in 2005 Martin Mortimore interviewed John Bowman, sadly no longer with us, who at that time owned the allotment. The pleasure that the tree brought John is clear in the short film clip below.
The tree is a great loss to Brentham.