PLAY: Treehouse

On the subject of treehouses, one of my very favourite structures is this small but perfectly formed structure tucked away behind the West Church of Charles Taylor Woodwork. Easily missed, I spotted it one day by chance. The shape of a boat, it sails amongst the lower branches; a beautiful structure and really quirky thing. And quirky should very definitely be celebrated.

Charles built it himself with his children: “The children are 12 and 14 now so it’s not much used nowadays, but the fun was in the process of building it, rather than the end result. It has to be very high up because I wanted to disuade people from using it – I made a rope ladder which hangs down from the back in the manner of a fishing net. The shape evolved around the structural opportunity the tree gave us – it just became obvious.

One of the best stories I heard was that there was a little child in the public car park at the back saying to his mother, “Mum, mum there’s a boat in the tree!” and the mother said, “Don’t be stupid.” But of course the boy was right. And then I had a minister who came up to me one day saying very drolly that I was obviously planning for the next flood.”

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