Outside Charing Cross station is a tree. An ordinary tree like all the others planted in the area. No one pays it any attention unless they walk into it. But this is a special tree.

Planted on 16th October 1988 this English Oak is one of many that were planted to replace the 250,000 trees lost during the Great Storm of 16th October 1987.

In four violent hours on that night, London lost around 250,000 trees. The Evening Standard launched a tree appeal and this English oak, placed here a year after the storm, is one of the many new trees paid for by its readers.
It was planted by the City of Westminster on 16 October 1988.

Over £60,000 was raised by the newspaper to fund the tree campaign.

A plaque, which used to be in the pavement, was recently moved to the pillar next to the tree, and last year, on the anniversary of the storm, a new plaque added to mark that event.

Today is the 31st anniversary of the storm, and the 30th of the planting of the tree to mark mankind’s attempt to repair the damage.


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  1. AndrewWS says:

    I remember the Great Storm; I was working just down the Strand from that tree at the time and had to walk there from Maida Vale because all transport was down.

  2. Andrew Gwilt says:

    I was born after the Great Storm of 1987. So I wouldn’t know what happened when the big storm came into Southern England caused havoc, destruction and so on. Very bad storm my Nan told me before.

  3. Annette M Stutchbury says:

    My husband and I had been married just over a month when the Great Storm happened. It kept me awake but he slept right through it! This was in Southampton, there were big trees down all along the Avenue.

  4. Tony Gomm says:

    I recall how deserted the City of London was next day with so many workers homebound attempting to find builders to repair their roofs.
    Last Saturday I was on the noon Westminster guided walking tour and noticed an obviously keen photographer in the group snapping that tree. Could his name have been Ian?

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