Second time lucky for Linslade singer's house during storms as it escapes hit from falling tree

Fiona Harrison's family home was previously damaged during bad weather in January 1990

By Joanna Gravett
Monday, 21st February 2022, 1:52 pm
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 1:54 pm

The home of well-known Linslade singer Fiona Harrison had a narrow escape when a huge tree came crashing down behind it during last week’s storms.

Fiona’s mother was in the house on Wednesday, February 16, at 4pm when she witnessed the strong winds snap a 50ft horse chestnut in half and send it tumbling to the ground.

However, it wouldn’t be the first time the family’s lives were put at risk, as during 1990 a large tree fell and smashed into their home during a spell of bad weather.

The fallen horse chestnut (left) and the LBO cutting from 1990

Fiona singer is devastated that not one, but three “beautiful trees” were broken nearby during the storms, and claims that Central Bedfordshire Council has not taken good care of them.

Fiona, who lives on Camberton Road with her mother, alleged: “It’s a tragedy, really. The trees are greatly valued but sadly they haven’t been properly maintained by the council. The trees have not been pollarded and left to grow.

“It [the horse chestnut] narrowly missed the house. If the wind hadn’t been blowing the other way it would have gone through the wall and onto the side of the house.”

She added: “It could have been very different.

The fallen horse chestnut. Photo: Fiona Harrison

“It would be fatal if a tree fell on you. It seemed to happen very quickly.”

The family home was pictured in the LBO on January 30, 1990, when it was reported that a tree had fallen into their house.

A photo in the newspaper showed firemen examining the damage, as the tree had crashed into its extension.

Fiona said: “This time my mother actually watched it [the tree] go. She was in the kitchen watching it and thought, ‘Here we go again!’”

The LBO press cutting from 1990

Fiona and her mother claim that the last time the trees near their house were pollarded was 15 years ago, and that they have previously contacted CBC about that matter but no action has been taken.

Fiona claimed: “Certainly when my brother and I were children we used to love the trees, and we want the trees to be enjoyed by future generations. They are valuable and important to our landscape.

“It’s the shame the council don’t value them in the same way.”

Central Beds Council has been approached for comment.

The 1990 LBO cutting

> Elsewhere in Leighton Buzzard, there were reports of a trampoline blowing into the front of the Black Horse building during Storm Eunice on Friday and other items flying out of people’s gardens. Train services were also badly affected on Friday.