The Friends of Matty's Oak  by Liz Lees                                          liz.lees.art@gmail.com                                           

                                                                mattysoak.com/

The Friend's Stories

The Drovers Daughter

1740. Young Matty and her brothers and sister are picking up acorns under the tree her grandfather

planted when he was a boy in 1690. The local land owner and farmer Lord Clifford rides by and tell

the family he plans to build fields, a big house and toll road.The oak is in the way.

The Farm Worker

1790. Tired after a day harvesting in the fields Matty and his wife Hannah are relaxing outside their

cottage. They watch as Pat dances  with his long poll. He and his mate down the hill are mapping the

route for the new canal. He will want the oak for canal gates. Then Lady Clifford stops to tell them

she plans to build on the park land.  

The Mill Girl

1840 Matty and her friends are on a break from their work in the mill when they hear a man sawing

Matty's Oak. He wants the wood for railway sleepers. The girls appeal to the mill owner,Tobias, who

has known the tree for when he was a boy. More mill buildings would block the view from his office

window.

The Young Teacher

1890 The young teacher, Matty, drags her difficult pupil to stand under the oak. Her telling off is

interupted by an old woman sitting outside her cottage telling what she should be doing. A man on

a new bicycle joins in and they compare the wonders of the old days and the new of today. Matty

seems distracted as she looks at the browning leaves of the oak. She is concerned that the air pollution

from the crowded buildings is killing the tree. 

The Boy in War Time

1940 The siren has sounded. The young boy, Matty, should be in the bomb shelter but he is helping a

lady who is lost. The warden, Alex, stops Matty's mother saying he will find him. Meanwhile Matty and

Mrs Clifford shelter in a door way. Matty is not persuaded to go away to the country where he might

be safe. Our oak has lost another branch. 

The Protesters

1990 They are going to pull down Matty's Oak to make way for a new by-pass. Our Matty has got

together with local people to try to save the tree. Her brother phones round to get The Friends to come

up and circle the tree while they wait for the result of an inquiry.

What next for our oak?

2040 What will the tree wake to see? Is there a new Matty and Friends to save Matty's Oak?

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