Wednesday, 02 December 2015

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Ex-Carlisle man hoping protest song will stop high speed train line build

A festive folk song written by a former Carlisle man has become the official anthem for a national campaign to stop the building of a controversial high speed rail link.

Dirty Mavis photo
Martin Davis, front centre, with his band Dirty Mavis

Martin Davis, 56, originally from Carlisle, has written The Oak Tree Lament in support of the Stop HS2 Campaign.

The emotive song, written from a tree’s point of view and performed by his Buckinghamshire band Dirty Mavis, was featured on Channel 4 News this week.

Lead singer Mr Davis was inspired to write it while walking his dog along the wooded paths and over the Misbourne Plain, much of would be destroyed if the scheme goes ahead.

He said: “I was walking in the Chilterns when I saw these trees. I tried to imagine how it would feel to be a tree that had been there for 300 years.”

He added: “The area is the closest to the natural and unspoilt beauty of Cumbria.”

Mr Davis is an ex-pupil of St Margaret Mary’s and Austin Friars School in Carlisle.

His parents still live in Carlisle and his sister lives in Scotby.

The song will be available on December 19 from iTunes in time for the Christmas sales.

But it can be bought on pre release from HMV from Monday.

Of the proceeds raised by the sale of the song, half will go towards the cause.

He said he hoped that the song would make it into the charts but doubted it would knock mainstream pop songs off the coveted Christmas number one spot.

The lyrics describe how it would feel for a tree to be hacked down after standing there for 200 years.

Stop HS2 campaign coordinator Joe Rukin said; “We’ve been really impressed by the band.

“They have put in a lot of effort and the song is absolutely brilliant.

“Not only does it make the point in a way that gives you goose pimples, but also unlike so many songs at this time of years, it actually sounds like a Christmas song.

“I know that if people hear the track they will love it and hope that translates into them buying it.”

The 250mph line would go from London to Birmingham, then on to Manchester and Leeds.

The scheme been delayed by at least a month as Transport Secretary Justine Greening considers issues raised through the public consultation.

The Government could bury 1.5 miles of the track under the Chiltern Hills.

But Mr Davis said this was camouflaging the real issue and the tunnel’s entrance would be another blot on the landscape.


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