The Remembering Tree, 2013. Bancroft Gardens, Stratford upon Avon

Well it has been a strange and wonderful weekend with its usual ups and downs.

The weather was so lovely today that I set off for Stratford on Avon, where I spent my teenage years, to see the spectacular Christmas lights and decorations.

I always enjoy the walk from Holy Trinity Church, Shakespeare’s final resting place, past the Dirty Duck pub where I spent many a happy evening in the 60’s hobnobbing with the likes of Eric Porter, John Hurt and David Warner, through the park, across the Royal Shakespeare Theatre balcony, along the riverside towards the Bancroft Gardens.  I love to pop into the theatre just to see what is coming up ~ Peter Pan and Wendy starts this week (tickets still available), as does the stupendous Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies (totally sold out before opening night)!

I usually drift over to the canal basin to see the houseboats before heading into town.  Today however, I was stopped in my tracks by a spectacular tree which seemed to be covered in one of those blankets made out of colourful knitted squares, which is exactly what it was!

I discovered that it was called the Remembering Tree and people had worked from 4am to 11am to fix all those squares in place in memory of someone they loved.  Money raised by this venture was going to a charity which you can read about here.

As it got dark I headed up Bridge Street to see the colourful lights before reaching my destination ~ Shakespeare’s Birthplace.  This year the house is transformed by a laser light show accompanied by some excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays being enacted from inside the house.  It is truly worth seeing.  I apologise in advance for the poor quality of my photos which is partly due to the crowds, partly to my excitement and partly to my battery failing!

Leaving the light show I was stopped in my tracks by a busker singing the most beautiful songs in a tenor voice which flowed like warm chocolate on a cold and frosty night.  After singing his own songs, he sang requests from the small crowd that gathered.  he then sang Christmas Carols.  His name is Karl Loxley and the crowd were deeply disappointed to find that he had no CDs to sell!  Hopefully he will soon and I will certainly be listening out for him.  Listen to Karl sing Bring Him Home.

So those are all the ups in my day ~ only one down to report ~

I was so excited to arrive in Stratford that I forgot to pay for parking!  Of course Stratford wardens are like Rottweilers and they don’t miss a thing ~ so I got a parking ticket.  Do you know it was worth it because I felt as if I had been to a free concert and I had a lovely day!

10 thoughts on “The Remembering Tree, 2013. Bancroft Gardens, Stratford upon Avon

  1. I grew up near Stratford and lived there for a year in 1986/7. When I was a boy my parents took me to the theatre to see Peter Pan with Wendy Craig. Dirty Duck was always my favourite pub. Went there again last year for a river cruise for my mum’s 80th birthday.


    • How strange that there should be these little threads that link -it is such a small world really! Thanks for all your replies! I grew up in Stratford in the 60s moving there in 1960 from the North. It was a very exciting time to live there! I wrote a blog about it for Shakespeare’s birthday!


    • Oh I know!! I thought I might get a returned ticket but no joy! I would hive anything to see this production but will now have to wait til it goes to London ~ shame as I love the Stratford theatre. Wasn’t Wolf Hall just the best book you’ve ever read? I couldn’t put it down. I have Bring up the Bodies on my Christmas list so fingers crossed!
      Got to tell you I adore your blog ~ covers every emotion and is a great read always.


      • What a lovely comment! You are in for such a TREAT! If at all possible, Bring up the bodies is even better. I am itching for the third volume. I lived in Tudor England for the entire time I was reading the book and, even if I already knew the story inside out, reading it from Cromwell’s point of view was a stroke of genius


  2. I had the opportunity to visit Stratford on Avon once back in 2008. I found it delightful, and enjoyed your recounting of your special day there. Thanks for bringing back happy memories!


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