josh’s tree

Tom and Becca’s wedding

6 days to go and two of Josh’s best friends are going to get married.

So what so special about that?

Get out of here …  you can’t be serious!

Mr Thomas Cockshot and Ms Becca Hyde go back a long way with our Josh – like they were all at school together and Westley Farm where Tom lives has always been a favorite haunt of all (and more) of the Chalford crew.     And the said Cockshot and Hyde are getting married next Saturday – where?

– at Westley Farm of course (actually I understand that they are already spliced and this is a damn good excuse for a party!)

– and what is also really special is that Tom and Becca have specifically invited and made a space for Josh and for us his family – and that the whole thing will take place in the field below Josh’s Tree which we think is really wonderful.

A lot of Josh’s friends are going to be there so its going to be a big moment for us and for them.

But the biggest moment will be for Tom and for Becca and all our thoughts are going to be with them on this special day – we wish you all the happiness in the world and lots of luck on your adventures together (off to California – or is it British Columbia – somewhere west coast with lots of trees!) Have a wonderful day and thank you so much for inviting us.

Oh I nearly forgot – Tom and Becca are going against convention and have forfeited the age old practice of conferring the husband’s name to the bride – all very modern – yeh but they’ve changed both their names to…. wait for it …. Westley!     hmmm … all the best Mr and Mrs Westley.   xxxx

And if that’s not modern enough here’s link to their wedding site where you can find out more about the day and donate to their special travel fund – gwan you know you want to…..   tom and becca wedding

the view from the tree overlooking westley farm





Josh’s 24th birthday

Last weekend we celebrated Josh’s 24th birthday.   We also had the real pleasure of having the two Dutch guys who were traveling with Josh at the time of his accident, come to stay.    Dominique Zondervan and Don Zweedijk”s visit was a very special moment as they were the last people to spend time with Josh before he died.   They had only known Josh for two weeks so it was also a good opportunity for them to find out more about him from all his friends here.

(click on any photo to go to gallery)

seated on the bench - Don on the left and Dominique


one of the hottest days of the year so far ...


hot enough for a quick dip .....


before a walk to the pub

The Young Man on the Hill – by Lyndsey Gill


From all over our neighbourhood Josh,s tree can be seen on the hill on the other side of the valley.

It  catches my breath and is a huge comfort as I walk the paths and hills of Chalford Hill.

Lyndsey captured its importance beautifully in her short poem which she read at our first public screening of Remembering Josh.

Thanks Lyndsey (Jane)


There’s a young man on the hill

I see him clear against the morning sky

There’s a young man on the hill

Say hello as you pass by


I see his tree standing straight and tall

I see his bench with its beautiful view

See him often, speak his name

As I wander these fields and walk the lane


There’s a young man on the hill

I see him bright against the evening sky

There’s a young man on the hill

Give him a nod as you pass by




Lyndsey Gill


January 2012


A poem by Hilary Burgess

Our dear friend Hilary lives a mile from Josh’s tree and can see it from her bedroom window. Every morning when she opens her curtains she tells me she thinks of Josh as she sees his tree on the hill across the valley.

Her poem was written on the first anniversary of his death.  (Jane)



Josh’s tree

Each morning, drawing open the curtains on a new day –
looking over the valley to the hilltop above Westley Farm:

Three trees stand guardian in the hedgerow
bearing witness to a fourth
that is growing to join them.

Josh’s tree:
planted for a life cut short
but cherished in our hearts –
a son, a brother,friend, son of friend.

A year has passed –
slowly, painfully
But his tree is slowly growing
A testament to his life and those who loved him

Each day the light changes on the hilltop:
now the dawn: a tongue of fire
illuminates the tree from the east;

Now a sea of light mist fills the valley,
the trees sailing wonderously above;

Now driving rain envelopes the valley
Under grey clouds;

Now the evening sun warms the hillside
And Josh’s tree grows copper;

And then at night, drawing the curtains to,
the moon casts lengthy arboreal shadows
and the stars watch over
Josh’s tree

Hilary Burgess
16 Jan 2012