Memories of Risby

By Gillian Allard

Following the Connect activity in Risby with photographer Gillian Allard, we were sent the following email.

I am writing on behalf of my mother, Joan. She had a lovely time with you last Thursday taking photos. Unfortunately, her memory card will not upload onto my laptop.  So we have been out again this morning using my camera.

Mum wants you to know why the water tower and shed which stored apple boxes, are important to her.  These are her words:

The water tower and store is significant because it is the last structural evidence of Risby Fruit Farms. I worked with the gang picking fruit during World War 2. The women weren’t land girls, but mostly married women whose husbands worked in the forces.

Fruit included: apples, gooseberries, plums, black currents and rhubarb. Strawberries and raspberries were grown after the war.  The fruit was sent off to London. There used to be a huge cold store for the apples in the village.  It was a building with many floors and it was manned night and day to ensure the fruit was kept cold.  The apples were kept fresh for an entire year.

Mum has many stories about life in village.  She wrote a piece about the depression in the 1930s which is kept at St Giles church.

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity for my mother.

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