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May Queen Oak

Cadmore End's most special tree is by the main road, just opposite the entrance to the local school. It's a tree that's at the centre of village life - literally! In the photograph below the May Day dancing takes place directly under its boughs.

Maypole Dancing - picture courtesy of Bucks Free Press

This traditional part of the celebrations was reintroduced in the early 1950s and continued for 30 years. The May Queen was crowned beneath the tree, where a wooden seat had been built around the tree's trunk.

These pictures are from the early 1970s (courtesy of the Bucks Free Press) and show village children wearing fancy dress or, of course, their royal finery. Bernadette Cowling (nee North) remembers this celebration as she was the little girl in the nurse's uniform at the front of the photo. If you remember that day, please get in touch.

The Cadmore Oak was pointed out by Paul Rogers, a local farmer. He works on a 2000 acre farm in this neck of the woods so when asked if he knew of a special tree he had plenty of trees to choose from.

Maypole Dancers - photo courtesy of Bucks Free PressAnother villager, Mandy Deane, remembers losing a silver necklace (a gift from a boy) there and wonders if it's still there in the undergrowth.

Barbara North, an elderly resident recalls the May Day celebrations being reintroduced and, one year, making a special trip to High Wycombe to buy a new hat because she was to crown the Queen of the May.

Whilst local people have tales to tell about the tree, this old oak must know a thing or two - it is very close to the school playground and was a favourite haunt for generations of youngsters.May Queen oak today - photo by Ross Osborn

Over the years the tree had become almost hidden by saplings and holly bushes which had grown up around it, but, with the Parish Council's agreement, the Lane End Conservation Group carried out some clearance work in February 2010 to reveal the tree in its full glory once again.

Getting There

On the B482 between Marlow and Stokenchurch

Location

On the common opposite the school

Grid Reference

SU783927

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