Hillam Rising: Events and Landmarks

After a year spent mourning the loss of our once great tree, the people of Hillam have cause to celebrate!

It has taken us a long time to deal with the pain of losing our tree.

A full year has passed since we lost the only true landmark this village had. Through neglect and the progression of modern civilisation, we saw fit to abandon this great creature. We left it to die and have had to deal with passing the sacred spot where it once stood for the past year, on our way in and out of Hillam. In the year since the tree’s passing we’ve been able to assess where it is that we went wrong and how we can avoid making such a terrible error again in the future. Through meetings and counselling sessions, the people of the village most effected by the loss of the tree have been able to come to terms with their grief and accept that there will be no replacing it. The tree that died was truly one of a kind – like you or me – there will never be one like it.

Although we made constant reference to the tree in our meetings, for a year we essentially avoided the difficult subject of what do about it’s remains. We all knew the tree was dead, but none of us could bear the thought of committing the final act of ripping it from the ground. Now that an appropriate passage of time has passed, we’ve decided, as a village and community, to have a professional tree surgeon remove it.

We said goodbye to our old green friend from the centre of the village last week, waving it off as it was torn from the ground and placed gently into the back of the tree surgeon’s truck. As he left, we inquired as to where we might get a new one from. This man, clearly an outsider from the village, fixed us with a queer look. He’d been discomfited when he had heard us sing Hillam’s Tree Anthem (the very same tune that has been sung for three centuries in this village) and had been flustered when we asked him to handle the tree gently. The surgeon took our payment in cash and then told us that if we waited, his brother would be along soon with a tree from another village – one which, if you can believe it, bore a striking resemblance to our last one.

Sure enough, not 10 minutes after we had waved off the tree surgeon, still gently humming the Anthem, we were lucky enough to be visited by a travelling tree salesman. He did indeed look very similar to the tree surgeon, however his hair appeared to parted to the side and clearly suffered from some form of photophobia as he wore very dark, large sunglasses. The man didn’t seem very talkative but motioned that he’d be happy for us to take this brand new tree off his hands for just £200. After a brief period of haggling, we successfully talked him down to £150 but gave him £175 for his troubles (you really wouldn’t believe the likeness of this tree to our old one!).

The new tree sat perfectly in place where the old one had lain.

With our hands encircled around it, the kindly travelling salesman left to a renewed chorus of the Anthem…

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