Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Elizabeth the royal oak christened with beer

BEER was used to wet a tree planted to mark the diamond jubilee of the Queen’s coronation.

BEER was used to wet a tree planted to mark the diamond jubilee of the Queen’s coronation.

The English oak, which has been named “Elizabeth”, had its roots soaked with eight bottles of the Loddon Brewery’s Hocus Pocus old ale in Nettlebed on Saturday.

It follows in the tradition of two other oaks that were planted on the common 116 years ago to celebrate Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee and wetted with beer. One has survived.

Nettlebed Parish Council chairwoman Barbara Lewis said: “We thought it would be nice to follow this lovely tradition. As one of the other trees has served us so well maybe it was something to do with the way it was planted.”

The old oaks were planted in August 1897. The surviving tree was donated by Nettlebed parish and named “Victoria” and the other, called “Alexandrina”, Queen Victoria’s first name, was provided by Bix parish.

The trees weighed three to four tonnes and were transported from the Nettlebed Estate to the common by traction engine. The village had a celebration after they were planted.

Councillor Lewis’ husband Malcolm discovered the tradition when he was editing a book on the memoirs of Herbert Godwin, a former chief woodman of the estate.

Mr Lewis said: “He said in his memoirs that they were well wetted with beer. Why they did it I’m not sure but it’s a good tradition.”

Chris Hearn, director of the Dunsden brewery, said: “It’s a real honour to be asked to wet the roots of the new royal oak and I’m genuinely delighted that the parish council chose to use our beer.

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