Malus x domestica
October 21st - or the nearest weekend
Now celebrated annually across the UK, Apple Day was inaugurated in 1990 by the charity Common Ground, both in recognition of the enormous importance of apples and their long history of cultivation in Britain, and with over 2,000 varieties known, many of which are particular to place, to celebrate their significance as markers of local distinctiveness.
'The aspiration was to create a calendar custom, an autumn holiday. From the start, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration and a demonstration of the variety we are in danger of losing, not simply in apples, but in the richness and diversity of landscape, ecology and culture too. It has also played a part in raising awareness in the provenance and traceability of food.
The success of Apple Day has shown what the apple means to us and how much we need local celebrations in which, year after year, everyone can be involved. In city, town and country, Apple Day events have fostered local pride, celebrated and deepened interest in local distinctiveness. We would still like Apple Day to become the autumn holiday in Britain.
Apple Day is now an integral part of the calendar of many villages, local authorities and city markets. It is a focus for activities organised by the Women’s Institute, National Trust properties, Wildlife Trusts, museums and galleries, horticultural societies, shops and restaurants as well as for schools, colleges and environmental study centres'
The Bramley Apple Festival of Food & Drink
2023: 28th October
10am - 4pm
Each October, Southwell holds The Bramley Festival to celebrate the origins of the Bramley Apple, which was first grown in this town.
Famous and much loved throughout the world for its unique flavour and excellent cooking qualities, the Bramley remains one of the most widely grown British culinary apples.
Whilst 2020 saw a week-long celebration, featuring a variety of apple-themed displays and events, the Bramley Festival is now held on one day. It boasts a variety of stallholders offering 'all manner of food and drink including pies, chocolates, jams, chutneys, pickles, sausages and much much more... There will be children’s activities in the Chapter House too'
The Bramley - or should it be The Brailsford - Apple?
The famous Bramley - the quintessential British 'cooking' apple, admired for its unique texture and acidity, owes its ubiquity and famous status today to Mary Ann, the eldest daughter of the Brailsford family who lived in a cottage in Southwell. In 1809, she planted some pips taken from apples her mother was preparing, one of which germinated and was transferred to the garden. Some 40 years after this tree was planted, the cottage was bought by one Matthew Bramley in 1846. Much admired locally, grafts were taken (by Henry Merryweather, the son of a local nursery owner) so that new trees could be grown. The fruit of these tree however, was to be named not after the family that grew the original tree but after Mr Bramley, becoming 'Bramley's Seedling'.
Though sadly infected with honey fungus, the original tree is still growing and producing apples.
J. Cherfas, The Ubiquitous Brailsford, KEW, Autumn 1997