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How the Pershore Plum Won the Great War

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Gunmakers Arms

93 Bath Street

Birmingham

B4 6HG

United Kingdom

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How the Pershore Plum Won the Great War

The First World War was won not just on the battlefields but on the Home Front, by the men, women and children left behind. When the war began, approximately 60% of the nation's food was imported, a situation which could not continue as a result of German naval blockades on British shipping. This talk explores how the fruit-growing district of Pershore became essential to the cultivation, harvest and preservation of fruit and vegetables to help win the Great War.

Drawing on local memories, archive letters, postcards, photographs, leaflets and recipes the talk demonstrates how the residents of the Avon Vale were joined by volunteers and students from Birmingham, land girls, Boy Scouts, schoolchildren, Irish labourers and Belgian refugees to make plum jam for the troops; and ensure these and other fruits and vegetables were grown and harvested.

Jenni Waugh is a community history and cultural engagement consultant who works with heritage and arts organisations, universities and community groups across the West Midlands to help people uncover the histories hidden in their localities. Significant projects include BBC People's War, World of Kays, Abberley Lives and The Great Blackberry Pick.

During 2014 to 2016, she worked with Professor Maggie Andrews of University of Worcester and community partners, Pershore WI and Pershore History & Heritage Group on How the Pershore Plum Won the Great War and Voters & Volunteers: How the women of Worcestershire organised themselves during and after WW1. She is currently working with Maggie on Childhood Interrupted: the WW1 experience of Worcestershire's youth, and with volunteers for Ombersley Memorial Hall's village history project, WW1 Ombersley Remembered.

Jenni and Maggie's book, How the Pershore Plum Won the Great War, was published by the History Press in July 2016 and is available from the authors and online or local bookshops.

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Gunmakers Arms

93 Bath Street

Birmingham

B4 6HG

United Kingdom

View Map

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