« Notes from the smoking lounge | Main | The ugly face of tobacco control »
Thursday
Feb082018

Dear, oh dear, Cecilia, what have you done?

It's not just smokers who have reason to be aggrieved with 'public health campaigner' Cecilia Farren.

Following my previous post a reader has brought to my attention a story that appeared recently in The Times, Daily Mail and Bristol Post, which broke the story.

According to the Post:

Residents of a street in Bristol are being investigated after they hired a tree surgeon and chopped down dozens of trees along a railway line to improve the view from the backs of their house.

Network Rail said the residents of Cromwell Road did not have permission to send the tree surgeon company onto the embankment next to Montpelier station, and said the incident was serious enough for a full-blown investigation to be launched.

Furious residents living nearby have been left shocked after discovering their neighbours had clubbed together to hire a tree surgeon company, and sent them onto Network Rail land on Wednesday and Thursday last week to start cutting down a large swathe of woodland.

The work was done, neighbours claim, to improve the views from the backs of the homes on Cromwell Road, and to allow more light into their rear gardens.

The work was organised by local resident Jonty Cutting. And who helped with the tree felling? Step forward Cecilia Farren who told the Post:

"I've been trying to grow vegetables here for 20 years but the trees block the lighting coming through so nothing can thrive.

"I've been on to Network Rail for 20 years about it. When I moved here there was not a single sycamore tree and we could grow vegetables. Nothing has ever grown properly and we are sick of it.

"The felling was a joint effort by neighbours and six households were involved.

"We paid for four trees to be cut down and other neighbours paid to have trees chopped which were blocking their garden.

"We paid for four trees to be cut down and received authorisation to do this in a letter from Network Rail.

"The only thing is that Network Rail didn't send us a list of approved tree surgeons as they said they would so we arranged our own.

"I know it looks a mess now but the area will grow into a massive green in two months and look great."

So that's all right then. Except it's not because other residents are furious. And whatever Farren might say about the work being authorised, Network Rail isn't happy either. According to The Times:

Network Rail claims that the work along the Severn Beach line between Montpelier and Stapleton Road stations was carried out without permission and that removing the trees could result in landslips and the loss of habitat for bats and badgers.

One resident (a former councillor) told the Post he had been in contact with Network Rail.

“They said they are going to have to send a work team out to clear up, as there are logs threatening to roll onto the track,” he said.

“They will have to remove stumps that won’t grow back and they said they would be seeking to recover the costs from the Cromwell Road residents – which are estimated to be between £25,000 and £30,000.

“The sound cushion the trees provided is now gone, and the integrity of the slope is compromised. Wildlife is displaced, not to mention the exposure to the houses opposite on St Andrew’s Road from Cromwell Road,” he added.

Dear, oh dear, Cecilia. What have you done?

Update: Farren’s reaction when asked about the tree felling is quite interesting.

The action, she said, was justified because "they were only sycamore trees".

“Who loves sycamore trees? They are a weed, a pest,” she said.

As a self-confessed “anti-smoker” she probably has a similar view of smokers.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (4)

No doubt Ms Farren sees herself as a gadfly fighting harm and helping eradicating 'pests'. Of course sycamore trees aren't pests and neither are smokers. Sadly she -- and the antismokers -- can't see the hate underlying their campaign of harassing tobacco companies and persecuting smokers. After all in their narcissistic cult they set the agenda for social engineering based on their preference not ideals of liberty and fundamental fairness.

Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 19:44 | Unregistered CommenterVinny Gracchus

More evidence of the arrogance of this awful women. Why should she think that the world and everyone in it, should revolve around her?

It is time govt stopped pandering to intolerant bullies like her. Who does she think she is?

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 10:44 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

What a nasty woman this Cecilia Farren must be. I'd love to be her neighbour and let her share the aroma of my lovely tobacco !

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 17:18 | Unregistered CommenterTimothy Goodacre

But doesn’t this just go to show that anti-smokers these days aren’t just anti-smokers – they’re a “type.” It’s become a very accurate way of ascertaining a person’s true character. Just dig a little deeper than the usual surface pleasantries by mentioning something about smoking/the ban/anti-smoking charities and sit back and gauge the reaction. It doesn’t have to be anything too vehement or extreme, just something mild like “I do think that pubs aren’t quite so much fun since the smoking ban,” or “I quite miss the old ‘den of iniquity’ atmosphere that pubs used to have back in the pre-ban days.” You can even pretend to like the ban, in a similarly mild way, to tempt them out of their shell and to get them to reveal themselves, because the point isn’t to genuinely engage with them on the subject – it’s to tease out how strong or otherwise their anti-smoking credentials are. If they’re in evidence, then that’s the signal to quietly make your excuses and end the conversation, because you can guarantee that accompanying those anti-smoking traits will be a suitcase chock-full of other, equally unpleasant attitudes towards Anyone Who Isn't Just Like Them - and who needs people like that in their lives? If the response indicates a lack of anti-smokism or, better still, a degree of sympathy for smokers’ plight, then that’s a sure sign that that person’s worth continuing a conversation with

It didn’t used to be like that. People who didn’t like smoke came in all shapes, sizes and opinions – they disliked smoke for their own personal reasons, not because some charity or group of “experts” with a one-eyed preoccupation had told them they must dislike it. But there’s a certain kind of person in society who simply has to find a group that they feel entitled to criticise and feel superior to. And as all of the old targets have been gradually placed off-limits, many of these less-than-palatable folks have leaped with no small measure of relief onto the anti-smoking bandwagon, primarily because it’s the only one left! Hence, there’s now a preponderance of the overbearing, the uncompromising, the unkind and the plain spiteful lurking amongst anti-smoking’s ranks. And it this which has made “testing” a person’s attitude towards smoking – whether they smoke themselves or not – such an extraordinarily useful (and accurate) yardstick for gauging their true nature.

So, to me, this story comes as absolutely no surprise whatsoever. On the contrary, it’s par for the course for your everyday, average anti-smoker!

Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 1:34 | Unregistered CommenterMisty

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>