••• tiff firth photography •••

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

shoe tree

The Shoe Tree was a landmark for the kids on our trips to Port Lincoln. I'd sing out 'Shoe Tree around the corner' and start counting down till we reached it. The kids always craned their necks to spot their own shoes in the mass of shoes hanging from the branch.

Over the last few months the branch has dropped lower and lower and swinging towards the road. The burden of shoes was very close to being too much. And after a wild wooly winter's night, finally it came crashing down. The branch of the Shoe Tree was on the ground.

I actually felt quite sad about it. And the kids were guttered. We all had invested interest in that tree and we didn't want to see it disappear. 

I figure that in life if someone relies on someone else to do a job, then nothing ever gets achieved. So with that in mind, I decided to go get the shoes in a trailer and relocate the Shoe Tree.

This morning I asked Emma Pedler of ABC Radio if she was able to air my request for a bit of help with the shoe recovery part of the project. Ron Campbell heard it on air, and came with his Media Vision Camera and recorded the tossing of shoes into the trailer. He then put the camera down and helped clear the tree of shoes and came with me to find a new spot.

Channel 7 and Channel 9 news showed vision that Ron took of me tossing a large bunch of shoes over the branch of the new Shoe Tree. I'm pretty damn glad they edited out the interview bit. :D

 The following info supports the images on my Tiff Firth Photography page on Facebook. Each image has its own caption so you will find that some of the info is repeated, ie the new location.

On the Lower Eyre Peninsula, there grew a Shoe Tree. Over the years it flourished and it became known as a tourist spot. In time the bloom of shoes grew too heavy for the branch, and with a battering from Mother Nature, it came down on a winter's night. I was sad to hear of it falling, as my children have a couple of pairs of shoes each hanging on the shoe tree. With the encouragement of a few locals and my kids, I took it upon myself to put out a call for help to relocate the shoe tree. Within a few days it will flourish once more in its new location, not that far from the original tree. It's now on the northern side of Wanilla, near the Warunda railway siding in a car pullover area, off the road and where it is safe for both traffic and admirers of the Shoe Tree.

With thanks to Ron Campbell who helped me gather the approx 300 pairs of shoes from the fallen branch of the Shoe Tree. We had to keep an ear out for the traffic on the road while collecting the shoes to be safe. I had a revolving hazard light on my vehicle and a high res vest for safety. Not many of the laces needed to be cut, but quite a few of the shoes were twisted into clumps, never to be untangled. 

300ish pair of shoes, of many sorts and varieties, were collected into a 6x4 trailer. We were surprised by how many of the shoes seemed to be in really good order. Perhaps some of the children's ones were outgrown, including a little toddlers pair. So small, so sweet.

The 6x4 trailer chock-a-block full of the 300ish pairs of shoes recovered from the fallen branch of the Shoe Tree. They will all be relocated on Friday to a new tree so the Shoe Tree will blossom once again. North of Wanilla, near the Warunda Railway siding, at a parking bay off the road. Plenty of room for caravans to park, children to be safe and away from the edge of the road. The truckies can breathe a sigh of relief as there will be no more near misses like there were on that other corner.

The new branch for the rebirthing of the Shoe Tree. A very strong branch to uphold the blooms of shoes that are to come over the next few days and for the years ahead. North of Wanilla, near the Warunda Railway siding. There is a parking bay on the right side of the road. You can pull completely off the road with a caravan, have a BBQ and throw your shoes into the Shoe Tree with abandon. Shoes are being rehung on a rope system on Friday 7.6.2013 from 11am onwards. Bring your lunch and lend an hour or so. Many hands will make this so much more fun.

The Shoe Tree and its flowering shoes back in January 2010. It began to gain publicity from about then, and it really grew very quickly

The blossoming Shoe Tree in November 2011. Must have been a good season :)

Annie hanging another pair of her worn out sneakers in the Shoe Tree. June 2012.

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