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  Photo of Copper Beech Tree Planting, Privett, Hampshire
What do a Copper Beech Tree, a small Hampshire village named Privett and Bruce Paine have in common?
 
 

Thomas Edward Paine, b.1868, was Headmaster of Privett School (that's Privett with two t's not one as in Privet) and in 1907 was present at the planting of a Copper Beech tree, which celebrated the school winning a shield presented by the RSPB for the best essays on birds and trees. The tree was planted by Miss Gertrude Nicholson, and the newspaper of the time reported that "After formal presentation of the shield by Capt. Hugh Nicholson, a 'royal' tea was greatly enjoyed by everyone present."

Thomas Paine was my great-great-uncle and in 1998 became the subject of some genealogical research by me on behalf of my father Selwyn Paine. I had the opportunity to visit Privett while on tour in Hampshire, England. I stood under the Copper Beech tree for shade and a good vantage point while taking photographs of the school across the road, however it wasn't until after returning to New Zealand that I learned of the tree's significance!

What makes all this rather special is that not only do I have ancestral links to Hampshire but also musical links to other guitarists such as Derek Hasted and members of the award winning Hampshire Area Guitar Orchestra.

 
 
 
  Thomas Edward Paine...  
  Photo of Thomas Edward Paine  
 
 
  Privett School - an early motoring adventure...!  
 

Photo of Privett School, early 1900's motor car

Photo of Privett School, early 1900's motor car

 
 
 
 

Bruce Paine visits Privett School...

Scene recreated in July 2005 - Photo and car courtesy of Derek Hasted

 
   
  Privett Education Centre today...  
  Photo of Privett Education Centre today  
     
  The Copper Beech tree today...  
  Photo of Copper Beech Tree in Privett today  
     
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