Eddie and Sue Arthur

The Shoe Tree: Money Well Spent?

I just spotted this article in the Telegraph:

For 30 years the banches of a tree on the busy A40 have been bedecked by dozens of pairs of shoes, many hanging from their laces, tied neatly.

But a four-year project, funded by the National Lottery to discover why the shoes are dangled, has borne no fruit.

The shoe tree, between High Wycombe and Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire, is currently decorated with around 50 pairs of shoes, ranging from tattered working boots to smart looking women’s slip-ons.

More than £265,000 pounds of heritage lottery funding was granted to The Chilterns Woodlands Project to help provide a definitive answer – but just rumour and legend continue to live on. (Read more).

The BBC also has something on this story of national interest here.

The tree is actually only about half a mile from our office. If anyone reading this is thinking of spending over quarter of a million pounds, can I suggest there are probably better and eternally lasting ways of doing so!

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4 Comments on “The Shoe Tree: Money Well Spent?

  1. yes, indeed! where DO these people come up with such ideas? And how could they possibly spend 250,000 pounds on that? Seems one could just hire someone to LIVE there and ask everyone who came by why they were doing it. Even if you paid them 75,000 pounds a year, that would seem excessive.

    Maybe you can hang translated Bibles in ziplock bags on a tree across the street and get another quarter million.

  2. I always wondered about that tree – but not 265,000 pounds worth!

    As I read the article, it appears the money goes to researching more than just that tree in the Chilterns. But the fact that they spent money at all when people are being made redundant, etc is mind-boggling.

  3. “carry out research on special trees in the area”
    Unfortunately, you have fallen for the assumption that “respectable broadsheets” don’t have provocative / sensational headlines…

    Around here we have trees with CDs & tin cans hung in them. I’ve been thinking to put a letter in the local paper asking if those who hand them would like to say why – I’d be interested to know their motivation, rather than other people’s opinions of their motivation.

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