Times September 2010 - 1
Times September 2010 - 2
Mullin Daily Mail Article
Johnson interview 1998
Hedgeman - The Book
The Berlin Wall
the Roaring Nineties
Stanton Turns Really Nasty
End Of The Annus But Not The Horribilis
Hand Of Peace
On Stanton Pay Up
Little Help From The Lord
Birmingham City Council instructs Bournville Village Trust and Selly
Oak Colleges to make a piece of virgin countryside available for housing
development. Residents protest. Planning permission is granted and a
wire fence with rooted beech cutting alongside it at two feet intervals
are set to demark land. Stanton plants ten leylandii saplings amongst
them. On the south side Thomson plants row of leylandii six feet away
1971 JULY 27th. Twentieth wedding anniversary. Move house. Hostile
reception. Life changes
1975/76. Rows of Christmassy, seven feet conifers idyllic but showing
signs of drought stress in the long hot summers. Michael carries wastewater
to keep them alive.
1978. Leylandii growing massively in width and height. Protest ignored.
1979. Storm and snow damage branches detached. First solicitors letter
sent. Thinning out and height reduction are insufficient.
1980/81 Gale damage. Stantons apply staves and guide ropes lashed to
tree trunks. 1982. Invitation to tea refused by Stanton but reciprocal
evening visit accepted. Other hostile neighbours were present. Michael
told, “The greater the harm suffered by you or any member of your family
suffer –the better pleased are we”.
1983/4 1985. Maureen hospitalized, immobilized and depressed by gloom
visits Stantons and given promise.
1986. Letters exchanged with Maureen, excuses given. 1987. Stanton sent
solicitor’s letter and he cuts only three feet off treetops. Verbal
warning that nuisance will be removed.
1988. Michael removes growth on his own side of fence. Stanton assaults
with water hose and iron piping
1989. Michael leans over boundary and cuts five feet off tops. Police
involved. Stantons erect scaffolding tower and Freda, wife, mother and
grandmother dies. 1990. Michael cuts another four feet off top.
1991. Stanton issues writ and obtains an injunction and plants second
line of trees. 1992. Michael sacks his legal team and defends himself
1993. Michael wins the right to reduce height of trees
1994. Court of Appeal upholds County Court judgment.
1995. County court dismisses Stantons claim for exemplary and aggravated
damages and removes injunction.
1996. Stantons reject compromise agreement and Michael cuts re-grown
trees live on TV with six camera crews and thirty journalists.
1997. First deputation to Minister.
1998. HEDGELINE is formed. “Turnabout” on Lickey Hills, visit to number
10, TV documentaries, demos at party conferences and Parliament.
1999. A “phantom” tops second line of trees after Bournville Village
Trust issues writ. First bills introduced into both Houses of Parliament.
Massive Ministry consultation. 2000. Clare Hinchliffe succeeds Michael
as Hedgeline executive. Law promised.
2001. John Taylor takes High Hedges Bill to report stage when it is
2002. Clare leads consultation delegations to secure viability of detailed
regulations. Michael’s solicitor still refuses a proper account and
return of money and shoots himself dead after Law Society visit.
2003. Stephen Pound takes bill to report stage again. Government adds
it to Anti-Social Behaviour bill and is passed into law. Long unresolved
compensation procedure with Law Society