FOR years the tree in Castle Meadows strangely festooned with footwear has been the talk of Abergavenny’s river community.

To this day visitors still gape in awe and snap pictures of the leather and lace fruit that hangs from its branches like a testament to failed athletic ambition everywhere.

The exact origin and meaning of the tree lie buried beneath the passing of time and countless Facebook posts.

The original trainer tree!
(Tindle News)

Were those trainers hung there as part of an ancient fertility ritual? Do the Columbian drug cartels that have plagued Abergavenny, particularly the Meadows, for time out of mind, use the trainers to indicate the availability of their illegal substances and warn the Mexican gangs off their patch?

Some have suggested that people used to throw their trainers on the tree before leaving for university, but how boring and lacking in intrigue is that?

No! The public demands that the true origins of the tree remain a riddle wrapped in a rumour hidden inside an internet conspiracy theory.

Semi-professional long-distance runner Johnny Turnip has hinted that the tree was simply a place where his old rivals who were bested by him in competition, hung up their trainers and vowed never to race again.

He explained, "Back in the day, I got a lot of chancers attempting to steal the crown and claim the throne. Well, let me tell you, those gym bunnies were in for a surprise when they left their treadmills and tried to beat Turnip in his natural domain across the fell, hill, and meadow. They had their butts handed to them on a plate! Naturally, they soon quit the running lark and had to hang their heads and trainers in eternal shame."

The new 'Trainer Tree'
(Tindle News)

Interestingly, it looks like someone might have made an attempt to introduce a new “Shoe Tree” to the town. To date, there is but one lonely pair of boots hanging on its branches in Mill Street. Yet the longest journey starts with the smallest step and all that.

One last thing. If any readers remember the whiskey bottle tree in the Govilon woods. Have a drink on us!