In praise of local apples

SUE SKINNER The rich heritage of apple-growing in the Fens is to be celebrated with special events.Wisbech, in the heart of the area's orchards, will be hosting its first Apple Day on Saturday, September 18 – the culmination of a programme of related activities, which begin this Saturday, September 11.

SUE SKINNER

The rich heritage of apple-growing in the Fens is to be celebrated with special events.

Wisbech, in the heart of the area's orchards, will be hosting its first Apple Day on Saturday, September 18 – the culmination of a programme of related activities, which begin this Saturday, September 11.

Rosie Kitchen, events and marketing officer for Wisbech Regeneration Partnership, said the events would build on local traditions of apple-growing and picking and could also help in the preservation of local varieties of the fruit, which were in danger of dying out.

This Saturday, there is an apple-pickers' reminiscence exhibition at Wisbech Castle (10.30am-3pm), about the days when crowds of pickers used to arrive from London.

The display moves to Wisbech and Fenland Museum on Tuesday, September 14, and continues until the next Sunday, September 18 (10am-5pm daily).

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Saturday, September 11, also sees the opening of an exhibition of photographs relating to apple farming and picking from the Lillian Ream collection, at Wisbech Tourist Information Centre. This also runs until the next September 18.

On Wednesday, September 15, an autumn fruits lecture lunch is being held at the National Trust's Peckover House in Wisbech, when there will be the chance to sample sweet and savoury dishes made with fruits such as apples, pears and quinces. To book, call 01945 583463.

At Wisbech farmers' market on the Friday, September 17, apples will be on sale at Smiths' stall and shoppers will also be able to eat apple pie washed down with cider and beer from Elgood's Brewery.

Apple-bobbing, a longest apple peel competition and street entertainment will be among the other attractions.

On Apple Day itself, September 18, there is an additional display at the museum about Fenland apple varieties, including a map of their origins and some examples and apple-bobbing and other competitions in Museum Square. Peckover House will serve apple treats in the Reed Barn restaurant.

Willock Farm at Wisbech St Mary, an orchard managed under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme to preserve rare varieties, will be open from 10am to 4pm.

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