THE MEMORIAL ORCHARD CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2021/22
Although we were able to hold a Zoom AGM meeting in 2020, like many other organisations we decided not to hold an AGM last year although we did send out a Chairman’s Report and a Treasurer’s Report. It is therefore really good to be able to meet in person again this year and I’d like to thank you all for coming.
As usual a few of us laid a wreath at the Memorial Orchard on Armistice Day last year and this was also attended by Falklands war veteran, Tom Navin and his wife Victoria. A very welcome surprise! It was good to meet them, to hear about some of Tom’s experiences and to remember his friends who were killed in that conflict. We will be observing a two minute silence and laying a wreath again on Friday (Armistice Day) but we have no plans for another large public service as we had in 2016 and 2018. The first was a Service of Dedication and Remembrance and the second service was held to mark the centenary of the end of The First World War.
We planted another 300 native daffodils last year in memory of those who served in the Second World War and together with the 100 planted the previous year they added a bit of colour to the orchard before the other wild flowers started to bloom. Our volunteers planted 300 more bulbs last week so we should have even more daffodils ‘fluttering and dancing in the breeze’ in the spring..
The daffodils were soon followed by cowslips, yellow rattle, pyramidal orchids, buttercups, ragwort, red campion, red clover, ox eye daisies, lady’s bedstraw, white bedstraw, St. Johns’ wort, betony, mallow and knapweed, hogweed and teasel.
For the first time almost every tree was bowed down with young apples earlier this year and we had to thin them in order to stop branches from breaking. We were therefore anticipating a good crop of apples and were planning to hold an Apple Day in October. However, by mid-September all the apples had been picked by unknown persons and we had to cancel our plans. We just hope that the apples were enjoyed by those who picked them. We were a little concerned as most apples do not ripen until October and we trust that nobody suffered from tummy aches. However, a large number of the apples are cookers so hopefully a few apple pies and crumbles were enjoyed by local people. Like most of our volunteers I am still waiting to taste an apple from the orchard and how I love apples!
As well as remembering those named on local memorials on our notice board, in The Weaverham News and the Hartford News we also try to remember survivors of war. We realise that even those with no physical scars have many mental scars as a result of their service. I am sorry to say that a few of our trees were damaged in September. We have replaced some of them and are hoping that others will survive so have decided to leave them in situ for another year. If anyone sees vandalism taking place the police advise you to dial 999 but not to intervene as we cannot risk any personal