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Thread: The 'Iconic' Gilwell Oak.

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    Senior Member ChrisA's Avatar
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    The 'Iconic' Gilwell Oak.

    Interesting to read about the Gilwell Oak, and that BP eulogised about it.
    Is the Gilwell Oak a term that is used to describe any currently large oak at Gilwell?
    Because way back at about the time that Gilwellbury was acquired, my Rover Crew took down what was then known as the Gilwell Oak. I've got photos, and a large slice of the tree (engraved 'with thanks from Gilwell') was donated to my Group and as far as I know still hangs on the Scouters Room wall. To the best of my knowledge the tree had become unsafe, some branches were supported by iron bars and it had to come down for safety reasons.
    I guess it was a matter of 'the tree is dead, long live the tree'.

    Chris A.

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    Maybe it's the Ironic Oak. Symbolising that growth is more important than veracity?
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
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    'Just so many,many moves in the Movement.....'

    Ah...! Chris there are indeed just so many changes in the 'what is' and 'what was' and the 'what maybe' that when they at last open the ' Scouting History (come visitors) Project ' in 2019 it will be of interest to see and hear what particular ' Scouting Tale ' is dished up as the ' True Orthodoxy '.

    Dr.Stu..

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    Senior Member ChrisA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Stu.. View Post
    it will be of interest to see and hear what particular ' Scouting Tale ' is dished up as the ' True Orthodoxy '.
    Yes, and I suppose if you fudge the facts a bit in this case you could claim that BP was in fact referring to 'an' oak tree at Gilwell Park rather than one known as 'the' Gilwell oak tree. No doubt the Archivist has more precise details than I can recall.
    It was some 60 years ago when we took the original one down, so perhaps whatever tree is now known as the 'Gilwell' oak has at least got quite a few years under its bark.

    Chris A.

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    Whatever it is, it's surely not "iconic" because hardly anyone would recognise it simply from a picture of it.
    Celebrate the 17th Holborn's 60th birthday - www.gbby.org.uk

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    Senior Member lakes_stu's Avatar
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    I don't know about the actual tree(s). I like the symbolism though. I often tell my Beavers that tiny acorns grow into mighty Oaks.

    I'm not sure that they get it yet, but hopefully the saying will stick with them.
    All posts represent my own opinions only. In no way do they speak for anyone else, including (but not limited to) my group, district, county or HQ.

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    Senior Member ChrisA's Avatar
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    Andrew,
    Perhaps I'm misreading the message from TSA, and probably you're right about the use of the word 'iconic'. Possibly the idea is to show the Woodland Trust a picture of the original tree and try to take it from there?

    FWIW here's a copy of the message I received :

    'Gilwell's Iconic Oak has been shortlisted by the Woodland Trust for Tree of the Year! The contest pays tribute to the UK's favourite trees, celebrating their majesty and creating awareness around conservation.

    Based at the heart of Gilwell Park, the Gilwell Oak was analogised by Baden-Powell as a symbol of the growth of the movement and as a reminder to young Scouts that big things are possible from modest beginnings. Shortlisted trees are in with a chance to win a 1,000 care grant'.

    Chris A

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    Last edited by ChrisA; 17-09-2017 at 05:18 PM.

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA View Post
    Interesting to read about the Gilwell Oak, and that BP eulogised about it.
    Is the Gilwell Oak a term that is used to describe any currently large oak at Gilwell?
    Because way back at about the time that Gilwellbury was acquired, my Rover Crew took down what was then known as the Gilwell Oak. I've got photos, and a large slice of the tree (engraved 'with thanks from Gilwell') was donated to my Group and as far as I know still hangs on the Scouters Room wall. To the best of my knowledge the tree had become unsafe, some branches were supported by iron bars and it had to come down for safety reasons.
    I guess it was a matter of 'the tree is dead, long live the tree'.

    Chris A.
    The tree pictured on the woodland trust website is the large oak tree behind the CIC on the training ground...
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    AESL & AGSL shiftypete's Avatar
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    I suspect the institutional memory at Gilwell simply is not long enough to realise that the original Gilwell Oak is not the large old Oak that is currently referred to as the Gilwell Oak

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Assistant Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    I suspect the institutional memory at Gilwell simply is not long enough to realise that the original Gilwell Oak is not the large old Oak that is currently referred to as the Gilwell Oak
    That's what you get for being youth led. #gilwelloak
    Ian Wilkins
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    Senior Member ChrisA's Avatar
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    Shiftypete,
    Well yes, perhaps I should apologise for going back some 60 years, but I did check with another ex-member of our Rover Crew and he was able to confirm everything since he'd also been on that work particular weekend. Gilwell always used to call for the 4th Harrow Crew if it was a matter of smashing things up or moving immovable objects. When they bought Gilwellbury we were called in to move a pavilion across the field. We did it on rollers and everything went well until we realised - too late - that we had neglected to remove the rather full elsan.
    Evenings were always fun with a stroll to The Owl, a visit to the water otter for any newbies, and then a rather unsteady trek back to Gilwell. Those were the days my friends ....

    Chris A.

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    Senior Member ChrisA's Avatar
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    Just to round off the square, the Info Centre confirmed to me today that they - and the Woodland Trust - are aware that the tree presently referred to as the Gilwell Oak is not THE Gilwell Oak. I still find the wording of the email sent to us was a tad misleading, but only because of my previous involvement with the original tree. Our Crew took it down in 1955, and I guess there aren't too many folk still around to quibble with a different tree now being cited.

    Chris A.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    And so the, sorry, a, Gilwell Oak is UK Tree of the Year, with 26% of the public votes. Aaah, nothing like gaming the system eh? Apparently it's being put forward as European Tree of the Year. Exciting times for the tree!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-42259349
    Ian Wilkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    And so the, sorry, a, Gilwell Oak is UK Tree of the Year, with 26% of the public votes. Aaah, nothing like gaming the system eh? Apparently it's being put forward as European Tree of the Year. Exciting times for the tree!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-42259349
    Wow. A tree wins an award.

    I wonder if there will be an award ceremony with an audience full of other trees that were contenders for Tree if the Year.


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    ASL Kev's Avatar
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    Just hope this doesn't end up as a story about TSA being dishonest to get a few quid.

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