Celebrating Oak Apple

It is a rare day that we at the _Boar_ overlook an event of national significance. Which is why we regret to announce we missed National Limerick Day, which passed us by on the 12th May. We will belatedly celebrate it by contributing one of our own:

When writing to Boris the Boar
Please remember to always be sure
To make sure you spel
Impeccably well
And ensure that your diction ain’t poor

In more current news, we are approaching Oak Apple Day, which will be commemorated on the 29th May. Also known as Shick-Shak Day or Arbour Day, it is a celebration of the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660.

Samuel Pepys, who conveniently happened to be keeping a diary at the time, wrote, “Parliament had ordered the 29th May, the King’s birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King’s return to his Government, he entering London that day.”

The oak apple refers to the Royal Oak tree in which Charles II hid during the English Civil War.

If you want to participate in the day, you may wear sprigs of oak leaves or, if particularly enthusiastic about the monarchy, you may want to do what the staff did at Adams Grammar School in Shropshire in the 1960s. The chairs used by the staff during the school assembly were lined with nettles and brambles. The staff were then expected to sit on them without protest throughout the whole of the assembly. Ouch!

It would perhaps be harder to find a school that venerated the royal family so much as to have such an eccentric practice today. But we surely have to admire a monarch who saved his own skin by hiding in a tree while a Parliamentarian soldier passed beneath him. Disguised as a woodsman, he escaped to Wales and France while the Commonwealth troops hunted Royalist fighters.

That is the amount of guile it would be great to see in the British leaders today. It is obviously a story that struck a chord with the public, as the third most common pub name in Britain is ‘The Royal Oak’.

The tree does not stand today, as 17th and 18th century tourists cut off chunks and branches as souvenirs.

But its grandson tree was planted by Prince Charles in 2001 and serves as an important reminder of the extent to which leaders of this nation have fought to preside over the country. Clegg and Dave – you’re just a bit tame.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.