One of two tree fellers poses obligingly after historic beech tree has to come down

THE view may be improved but there was some sadness too when a magnificent copper beech tree was felled from in front of St Peter’s Church, March.

Onlookers gathered to see the tree come down and it prompted a visit, too, from a couple who recalled posing under it for their wedding photos.

One of two tree fellers, Mark Prince, obligingly posed on the tree stump holding up some of it for to show passers-by.

Local historian Trevor Bevis recalled the connection between the beech trees at the church and the Sharman family, previous owners of the Cambridgeshire Times.

It all began, said Trevor, when Fanny Pope Bates married George Sharman, the founder of the Cambridgeshire Times, in 1872.

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“They lived in a house cum print shop in the Market Place where the first copies were printed,” said Trevor.

“Later a new factory opened at the side of St Peter’s Church and the family moved into a fine 18th century house on the High Street.

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“It was George Sharman who presented the ancient clock of the original town hall to St Peter’s when the existing town hall was being built on the old site.

“The clock started working on January 1, 1900, being activated at midnight by his daughter Mrs P A Shepherd. It is said that Mrs Shepherd planted beech saplings near the entrance of the church.

“The old house into which the Sharmans has moved was named The Beeches.”

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