Saturday, April 12, 2014

The giant redwoods of Humberstone

Pine Tree Avenue in Humberstone, a village that has become a suburb of Leicester, is not lined with pines. It is lined with sequoia gigantea - giant redwoods.

Some are currently under threat of replacement with a smaller species by the city council because of the damage they are said to be causing to houses and drives. Some residents welcome the plan and some do not. You can read about the controversy in the Leicester Mercury.

This remarkable avenue exists because Pine Tree Avenue used to be the drive to Humberstone Hall. The estate was sold as housing land by the Paget family after World War I, when they moved to Lubenham near Market Harborough.

Back in the 1970s, Humberstone chess club used to meet at the clubhouse of a tennis club around here and I remember playing some of my early league games for Harborough here. But when I looked for it today I found it had been replaced by a gated housing development.

But I cheered up when I found two cottages that look as though they are surviving outbuildings from the Hall.

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