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Wellingtonia Avenue, Finchampstead 2004


Wellingtonia Avenue, Finchampstead 1927
(reproduced by kind permission of the Francis Frith's postcard collection)
Along Wellingtonia Avenue (the B3348), at Finchampstead, near Camberley, lies this superb avenue of Giant Redwoods. This road was constructed over Finchampstead Ridges in 1863 by Mr John Walters MP of Bear Wood Estate. The trees were planted in 1869, soon after the death of the Duke of Wellington, as a commemoration. In fact, Wellingtonia trees were named after him, and this location was chosen because he spent much of his life living in nearby Strathfield Saye, when not in battle. Ironically, the great man himself would never have seen them as he died a year or so before they were discovered.

The colour picture shows the avenue in recent years (2004), but the black and white picture appeared on a postcard in the Francis Frith's postcard collection produced in 1927 when the trees would have been around 60 years old, roughly half their present age. I tried to get precisely the same view of the avenue - with some success I feel. The road is now a busy highway, and I had to risk life and limb to snatch a picture during a very brief lull in the traffic. Not a problem experienced by the postcard's photographer, I suspect!


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