On Tuesday, The English Apple Man joined fellow members of the East Kent Fruit Society (EKFS) for the society AGM, Orchard Competition Prizegiving and Dinner.
The East Kent Fruit Society traces it's roots back to the 1920s.
The Society was formed in 1927 as The Ash and District Fruit Show. In 1937, the title was changed to the East Kent Show which was discontinued in 1969 when the East Kent Fruit Society was formed.
The many trophies available are testimony to the long history and many have been presented over the years by generous sponsors.
It is not unusual for one competitor to win several trophies, but the 2018 orchard competition saw AC Hulme & Son take six first place prizes and two runners up prizes.
Below: The English Apple Man (And) EKFS President presents Tom Hulme with the Trophy for Orchard of the Year
CLASS B Dessert - GALA - 1st AC Hulme Hoaden Court Elmstone Gala I (East) 2nd AC Hulme Barton Farm Home Farm Gala 3rd HW Twyman Newbourn Farm Newbourn Gala
CLASS G PEARS - 1st AC Hulme Barton Farm Grove Pears
HYGIENE AWARD - AC Hulme Barton Farm Grove Pears
BEST ORCHARD UNDER 1000 TREES / ACRE - AC Hulme Hoaden Court Elmstone Gala I (East)
ORCHARD OF THE YEAR - 2018 - AC Hulme Hoaden Court Elmstone Gala I (East)
CLASS F MOST COMMERCIAL ORCHARD - AC Hulme Hoaden Court Elmstone Gala I (East)
CLASS C Dessert - BRAEBURN - 1st HW Twyman Newbourn Farm Newbourn Braeburn 2nd AC Hulme Hoaden Court Blackcurrants Breaeburn 3rd A.Scripps Wenderton Sale 12
Another grower also enjoyed multiple success: A.J.Bruce-Lockhart Court Lodge Farm Egerton won three trophies
CLASS A Dessert - COX - 1st A.J.Bruce-Lockhart Court Lodge Farm Church Cox A 2nd A.J.Bruce-Lockhart Court Lodge Farm Jubilee 3rd S.Bray Monks Farm A 22
Judges "Young Orchard of the year" - A.J.Bruce-Lockhart Court Lodge Farm Church Cox A
BEST ORCHARD OVER 1000 TREES / ACRE - A.J.Bruce-Lockhart Court Lodge Farm Church Cox A
Below: left; The award winning Hoaden Court Elmstone Gala I and right; Barton Farm Grove Pears
CLASS D Dessert - Other Jazz etc - 1st D.Figgis Lavender Farm Lavender - Jazz 2nd D.Figgis Lavender Farm Lavender - Rockit 3rd S.Bray Monks Farm A 19 - Jazz
CLASS E CULINARY - 1st S.Bray Monks Farm Boyce 2nd Bardsley & Sons Rectory Edwards 3rd Bardsley & Sons Bluehouse Young 26
Below: left; John Harper - Manager for A.J.Bruce-Lockhart and right; Simon Bray winner of the Culinary Orchard award
David Hilton Memorial Medal
The very prestigious David Hilton Medal, awarded annually in memory of a member of East Kent's distinguished fruit fraternity was first awarded in 1989. For the 30th anniversary of the Memorial Medal, David's son Giles Hilton presented this year's medal to Tim Biddlecombe.
Below: Giles Hilton (left) presents Tim Biddlecombe with The David Hilton Memorial Medal
David Hilton was a well respected East Kent fruit grower, A tireless supporter of the UK fruit industry and of the East Kent Fruit Society. He gave a large amount of time and energy back to the industry and was one of Kent fruit growing's unsung heroes.
In his memory, The East Kent Fruit Society decided to create an award for services to the fruit industry in Kent and beyond. The intended recipients are those who have given something back to the industry, who have not been and are unlikely to be recognised in other ways.
Recipients are typically approaching the end of a career or stepping down from a defining role. Previous recipients have been growers, managers, advisors, research scientists, technologists, lecturers and others from key industry roles.
This year the East Kent Fruit Society awarded the David Hilton Memorial medal to FAST Chairman and former Managing Partner, Tim Biddlecombe, at their annual AGM. The medal was presented to Tim by David Hilton's son, Giles, in recognition of outstanding service to the top fruit industry.
Tim started his career in 1972 at Wye College; from Wye Tim joined ADAS at Brodgale. Tim left ADAS to become a soft fruit advisor to FRUITCARE started by soft fruit industry stalwarts Hugh Lowe, William Pierce and Don Goodwin.
In the Autumn of 1981 Tim joined Eric Gunn when Eric set up FAST (Field Advisory Service Team) advising soft fruit growers, before adding top fruit to his advisory remit. In 1986 Tim moved to Suffolk to advise East Anglian growers of top and soft fruit. When Eric retired in early 1990's, Tim and Mike Barnett took on the role of joint Managing Directors of FAST. When Mike moved onto new pastures, Tim became MD, moving back to kent in 1999.
Having operated from offices in North Street, Tim managed the move to FAST's current location at Brogdale Farm 12 years ago. Three years ago Tim became Chairman of FAST passing the role of MD onto Senior Soft Fruit Advisor John Handford.
Click on FAST llp for in depth information about FAST llp.
That's all for this week
The English Apple Man