Between 1960 and 1962 I took up lodgings at 45 Spring Street, Wool in Dorset. The left-hand picture below shows the cottage in 1961 and a general view from 1955 can be seen by clicking here.
My room was to the right of the front door.
The other picture shows the cottage much renovated in 2004.
These thatched cottages were built in the 16th century. The walls contains carved stones removed from Bindon Abbey when it was destroyed on King Henry VIII’s orders.
It was cold and damp. There were no washing facilities other than a large stone sink in an outhouse where the inside of the roof was covered by stinking fungi. There was no mains water - the supply came from a local watercress farm and frequently stopped.
I used a Calor Gas heater to get hot water and ate in the owner’s cafe which was in Wool High Street (this can be seen in a 1965 picture by clicking here) but the building is now closed and bricked up.
The owners lived next door at number 47.
One night I was awoken by a tremendous crash. I ran out. Number 43 had collapsed into a heap of rubble! Luckily, nobody lived there but I was a nervous sleeper after that and was keen to move out in case number 45 collapsed - it no longer had any support on one side!
I tried to spend as little time as possible in this ghastly cold, damp and miserable ramshackle cottage. In the cold winter evenings I would sit in the Black Bear pub just a few steps down the lane. I would sit all evening by the roaring coal fire reading a book and making a pint of ale last all evening.
On summer evenings I walked as far as I could in all directions from Wool.
It was on one of these walks that I came across a wonderful tree. I'm not sure why it attracted me as there were similar trees elsewhere but it was something about the way it overhung Bindon Lane a short walk to the East of Bindon Abbey.
In 1969 I was visiting the area and was driving down this lane (having moved to Weymouth in 1962) and stopped to take a photograph of the tree.
Somehow, this became a habit and I have taken many pictures of this tree over the intervening forty-two years.
I'm not sure what I expected to learn from this exercise. Frankly, the tree is much the same now as it was in 1969 (apart from the removal of an overhanging branch around 2001) but the surrounding verges, hedgerows and trees have changed.
So, for what they are worth, here are some of my pictures of this tree.
You can go directly to the latest pictures taken in 2011 by clicking here.
It can be seen as it was in 2009 on Google Street View by clicking here
1969 Looking West
1988 Looking West
1988 Looking East
1993 Looking West
1993 Looking East
1999 Looking West
1999 Looking East
2001 Looking West
(Note the loss of a branch which was overhanging the lane)
2002 Looking West
2002 Looking East
2003 Looking West
2008 Looking West
2008 Looking East
June 2011 Looking East
The next seven pictures show a more intimate set of images of the tree on 6th June 2011
My next project is to produce a long sequence of pictures of paint drying - this may be more exciting and have more use.