Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Trees and The Garden Of Jane Trelawney

Back in 1974 I was living in a little village called Summerhill, nr Wrexham in North Wales and worked at a place called 'The Metal Box Company'.My friend Dave worked there as well,we were quality control inspectors.We had to go on a weeks course to learn how to use all these instruments such as micrometers and we learned it all in about half a day.The lady teaching us couldn't believe it. Anyway,although the company was called 'Metal Box Company' what we actually made at this place was plastic bottles such as Fairy Liquid and Domestos. We had to do hourly checks on the bottles to make sure they were alright.We did this in about 2 minutes.This left Dave and I about 58 minutes in every hour to throw plastic bottles at each other and mess about generally.It was mad working there, we used to call it the 'Mental' Box Company.Everyone who worked there was mad. They were all bonkers.
Dave and I couldn't stand the sight of each other because we were living in the same house and working together.One day I kicked him in the leg and we walked to work 10 yards apart from then on.
To cut to the chase and get to the point of this story, Dave started going out with this girl called Sula who came from Dolgellau or somewhere up there near Snowdonia near the place where the Tipi people lived. She was a student at Wrexham Technical College, just up by the football ground.How she met Dave I don't know but she started coming round our house all the time. Sula bought this album round that she kept playing and I really liked it. I asked her what it was called and I thought she said,'The Garden Of Jane Trelawney'.
That name struck a chord with me because when I was a kid one of my favourite books was Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and one of the characters in it was Squire Trelawney who is in the very first chapter if I remember. I loved this album because it was in the folk/rock idiom that I liked.I was already a huge fan of Fairport Convention and this was more of the same.The band was called 'The Trees' and i think Sula actually knew them.The singer was Celia who was a great singer and she eventually married a famous DJ called Pete Drummond, anyway that's by the by.
I absolutely loved that album,it had songs such as 'Nothing Special','Silkie','She Moved Through The Fair','I Am A Road And I Know Where I'm Going To' and the whole album was great.
Sadly the days at Summerhill ended and I left, never to return.

Thirty two long years elapsed and back in spring of this year I was talking on the phone to a friend of mine, and we were talking about old rare albums and I said "Have you ever heard of an album called 'The Garden Of Jane Trelawney?".
"Heard of it?",said Kev,"I've got it,its brilliant,I'll make you a copy if you want".
A few days later I was listening to an album i loved but hadn't heard for 32 years and all the memories of the days in Summerhill came flooding back.When I looked at the cover I had a real shock though.The album wasn't called 'The Garden Of Jane Trelawney' at all,it was called 'The Garden Of Jane Delawney'.I don't care though, for me it will always be 'Jane Trelawney'.
That is not the end of the story though because a friend on the internet called Richard offered me a cd called BBC sessions by the Trees which I snatched up and also Richard sent me a cd of demo's by 'The Trees'.So now 32 years on I have 3 albums by the great but short lived Trees.

One Sweet Day: When Fairport Played In Peterborough

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