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New Scots Pine Takes a Bough

DATE POSTED: 28 Nov 2016 The front cover of the last edition of Platform magazine featured the old cypress tree that had become such a landmark of the station.  Sadly, the ravages of time had caused it to become unsafe and it had to be taken down early in 2016.

The intention was to replace this icon as soon as possible and  the decision was taken to plant a Scots Pine at the far end of the up platform.  This variety was chosen for its suitability for our soil and partly to re-kindle memories of the famous ‘Pines Express’ that passed through Shillingstone in the 50s and 60s.

A semi-mature tree was selected from Dulford Nurseries of Cullompton, Devon, and this duly arrived by road at the station on 17 November.  With help from our own volunteers, the root-balled tree was carefully unloaded and trundled up the platform to its new home.  The experts from Dulford did the hand digging of the hole (much to the volunteers’ relief!) and the Pine was soon standing erect in its new home.

A suitable ceremony was in order to mark the occasion and member David Caddy arranged for North Dorset MP, Simon Hoare to perform the official planting on Sunday 20 November.  Speaking afterwards, the North Dorset MP said, “I’m absolutely delighted to be asked to perform this planting of a tree that has such significance for the station".   

Simon was enthusiastic about the way in which the railway is progressing. "The work being done by the Trust is helping give a boost to tourism in this part of the county which is something I am keen to support.  I know there is a desire to create a working railway between Shillingstone and Sturminster Newton and although there is much work to do and many hurdles to overcome, I feel the project would offer the area valuable opportunities for tourism and trade generally.  I’m looking forward to seeing the railway flourish and develop along with the new Scots Pine”.