Google: Shoe Tree photos...
...and you get a completely different picture.
This article explains how shoes have been appearing in this tree, in the south of England, for the past 40 years and a recent investigation funded by lottery money to the tune of £265,000 has failed to come up with the reason behind this odd tradition.
So when a colleague recently started talking of a Shoe Tree nearby, it was obviously a photo opportunity not to be missed.
One lunchtime we drove the couple of miles to a lay-by opposite our local shoe tree and this is how it looks.
|Seems to be left hand side - black shoes, right hand side - white shoes!|
|How high can you go.....|
|Who didn't want the pink pair?|
Further research shows this is also a phenomenon in the US and I even found this article that states the rules for throwing shoes into trees.
Whatever the reason, and no-one seems to have the definite answers as to why this occurs, it seems most theories are simply local folk-lore and no-one can categorically say why...
And maybe... it's better that way. There may be a different story to each pair of shoes from the ones thrown there simply because others were already there, some that were thrown as a symbolic end or beginning to a new chapter in a person's life, the possible stories are endless.
The A57 tree now has so many pairs it is impossible to pass without noticing something odd, but I wonder how many people actually believe what their eyes are telling them as they pass at speeds of 50 mph, and how many miss this odd sight while focusing on the road ahead. After all, I have driven this road countless times and never previously noticed the shoes.