Found! – The Mike Hawthorn Memorial Tree

After a twitter discussion, and having intended to visit for some time, a Sunday afternoon walk included the Onslow Arboretum in Guildford, the site of a tree planted in Mike Hawthorn’s memory on 22nd January 1999, 40 years to the day after he died on the (very) nearby A3.

The A3 at Guildford where Mike Hawthorn crashed
Onslow Arboretum
The label on the quickthorn tree

Perhaps fittingly, rather than a Hawthorn, the tree is a Quickthorn, the label for which is now the only sign of the story behind the tree. In January 2009, to mark the 50th anniversary, a plaque was unveiled next to the tree, but by April of that year, it had disappeared.

Mike Hawthorn’s quickthorn tree
Berries on the Quickthorn tree

Now that the quickthorn and the trees around it are more mature, it doesn’t stand out in the same way it did when it was planted. You could say that it fitted in a bit too well, becoming anonymous.

Mike Hawthorn’s quickthorn tree fitting in rather too well

A fuller story, and directions for how to find the tree, can be found at Mike-Hawthorn.org.uk

Thanks to Gary Harman.

  1. mike bennett

    If anyone is interested, the exact GPS coordinates of this Quickthorn tree is 51.232953, -0.606067. If you’re a what 3 wordo then ///crass.stir.dated will get you there.

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