The Friends of Matty's Oak
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
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.
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?