Protesters lose fight with Tesco to save lime trees
Saturday 15 August 1992
Two of the protesters had spent 28 hours in the trees, braving one of the wettest days of the year with only plastic sheeting for protection. But they were eventually coaxed down after other protesters made an abortive attempt to obtain an injunction that might have saved the trees.
Earlier, three of their colleagues had abandoned the trees, two suffering from hypothermia and another having fainted.
More than 150 people gathered at the site in the Golden Hill district of Bristol. They sang laments and chanted 'murderers' and 'shame on you' as contractors with chainsaws started to remove the 89-year-old limes.
There has been a 24-hour vigil at the site for more than 80 days. The campaign to stop Tesco developing in the middle class suburb reached an unusual emotional intensity. One of the opponents is the rector of Horfield, Canon John Wilson, in whose parish Golden Hill lies. 'I think the people who climbed the trees are to be commended. They have shown their concern in a very strong way,' he said.
One protester, Sue Carter, a horticulturist from Bishopston, was defiant to the last, climbing 60ft (18.28m) to the top of the fourth tree as the others were cut down around her. She eventually surrendered, waving a white flag, when a contractor began sawing off the bottom branches. She was later arrested.
Some protesters were angry that the police officers - who numbered about 100 as the demonstration reached its height - had denied those in the trees food and water. But a police spokesman said the demonstrators were breaking the law, being in breach of the Public Order Act 1986.
One of the protesters, Emily Williams, 19, a University of Reading student from Bishopsworth, Bristol, had to be helped down a ladder and was unable to walk. She said: 'I've had no sleep and I'm exhausted.' She survived on biscuits, Kendal mint cake and water.
The opposition to Tesco's development has been led by Ian Martin, a trainee hot air balloon pilot aged 37, who lives opposite the site. 'It is the most worthwhile protest I have ever known and the fight will continue. We will make Tesco wish they had never decided to develop Golden Hill,' he said.
Tesco has tried to win the hearts and minds of local people, who say they will boycott the store. It took a full-page advertisement in a local newspaper and said that the fields had become neglected and were derelict.
Tesco promised that the area would be landscaped using more than 200 trees and 20,000 shrubs and flowers.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...