Letters

Here's some correspondence from a few of the tree's many supporters.

I remember being a very young child when we got caught in torrential rain on the way back from the market. We headed for shelter under the Catalpa and I can still recall the feeling of being safe - looking up into the gnarled branches and wondering if the tree could talk! As an adult, there's still a certain magic and mystery that surrounds this tree and I'll always consider it a friend.
Ms. T, Wainscott

It makes me sad when I see the tree because the wooden pole looks like a walking stick. It's a very old tree and we should help it.
Terry, Aged 8, Rochester

Rochester's Catalpa is one of those landmarks that you might say has a magnetic or perhaps even spiritual presence. You'll often notice a group of kids or tourists relaxing under its shade; it's a beacon, a natural focal point whose familiarity is ingrained in the lifeblood of the area. It's a rare and very special rapport that we can all too often overlook in such hurried and disposable times.
Morris, Rochester

It's a great thing to look after old trees. I think they should all be declared 'sacred' - in the ancient sense of the word. The nearest I could find to another one-tree website, though it includes its progeny, can be seen at http://cbs.ntu.edu.tw/bodhitree/en/.
Tom Turner, Garden Visit

My grandparents met under the Catalpa tree!  My grandma was with her parents and my granddad overheard them wondering what type of tree it was.  Liking the look of the young woman and being an enterprising young man, he engaged them in conversation and said that, although he didn't know what the tree was, he would find out and, if they would give him an address, he would write.  The rest is history!  This must have been about 1930.  My grandparents are both dead now but the story has been passed down and whenever I am in Rochester, I think of them.  When my Dad (their only son) was 70, my sister bought him his very own Catalpa tree, which moved to her garden when he and my mum moved house.
Hilary Sutton