In 1897 Queen Victoria's 60 years on the throne were celebrated in Redhill in several ways.

There was an addition to the Cottage Hospital; a new rifle range for the Volunteer Force, which had lost its previous range at Reigate Hill in 1892; a treat for local children took place on a perfect June day at Mr Waterlow's estate at Great Doods, Reigate; and 450 old folk were treated to a sit-down dinner at the Market Hall.

The new Redhill sports ground was used for the first time and there was a torchlight procession up to Redhill Common from where, it is said, at least 30 celebratory beacons could be seen blazing near and far.

In 1887 a group of trees known as the Jubilee Plantation had been planted on Redhill Common to mark the monarch's 50th year on the throne, and in 1897 a second clump of 55 trees was planted west of these. Both clumps still stand but have suffered from violent weather and fences around them have long since disappeared.

Trees also figured heavily in plans to beautify Redhill town by planting them along the streets commencing in the 1897 autumn. Many pictures of the town, such as this one of London Road, show trees adorning various streets and forecourts but no trees remain, having fallen victim to road widening and other development.

Trees have since been planted in Station Road in 1977 and in the High Street in the late 1990s. The latter were replaced and officially opened this month in phase one of Redhill's makeover which included changing the name of the square to Maple Square.

- Article and pictures courtesy of Alan Moore, author of A History of Redhill volumes 1 and 2