Colin - volunteer
I've recently retired after 50 years of fruit farming.
I was born in the farm house at Eddisbury Fruit Farm in 1946.
After leaving school at 18, I worked on 2 Warwickshire fruit farms before going to Pershore Institute where I gained a Certificate in Horticulture, returning to Eddisbury in 1967, where I have been ever since. My father and I were planning to go into partnership but he died suddenly in 1971, leaving me the farm which I ran till 2001, when I went into partnership with my stepson, who had also been to Pershore, where he learnt the craft of apple juice and cider making.
In 1996 we stopped using the Wholesale markets because of diminishing returns and turned to Farmers Markets , which were a God send financially but meant working a 7 day, 80hr week.
Succession to the next generation wasn't to be, so I've sold or rented the land and buildings to a local family who are carrying on the business. I'm giving them help and support so they will succeed. I have kept one orchard.
I became a licenced Lay Reader at St Andrews Tarvin in 1998, where I also ring the bells and wind the church clock.
My other hobbies are folk singing, playing jigs and reels, and folk dancing. I have recently recorded a CD of my father's folk songs, which I now sing in local folk clubs.