Home Made Jam For Tea

I miss the fruit trees that previously grew in many of the gardens of the dwellings that were once the homes of the residents of the Laindon and Dunton of yesteryear. Fruit trees were abundant and the harvests even more so. There would be apples, cookers and eaters, pears and plums, all lovely in themselves, but ooh the pies and crumbles, yummy!  Damsons and greengages and the jam that mums used to make from them, we had cupboards full of jars of them. Sunday teatime, fresh crusty bread and jam, always a scramble to get the knobby end of the loaf. Our Nan’s garden, in Waverley Road, had so many fruit trees, that after a good session of picking, my sister would have to be piggy-backed all the way home to Pound Lane (St Nicholas Lane end) as her pram would be heavily laden with fruit, with no space for her to sit. 

It is very rare today to see such trees in people’s gardens, they may grow an apple, pear or plum tree, but when do you ever see greengage or damson planted?  Maybe the small size, of the majority of gardens today, restricts the growing of these, or maybe younger generations are not aware that such things exist.  Maybe it’s another reason altogether, maybe it’s just so much easier to go to the supermarket, not only do you not have to go to the effort of actually growing it but you can have it NOW. We have all noticed that today’s generation not only want everything, but they want it now. None of that digging, planting and weeding and then waiting like we all did, and none of the pleasure and satisfaction of eating something you had grown yourself. When we tell them how hard life could be, in our day, they possibly find it easy to believe. Imagine having to grow your own food! They must also think us all a little crazy, when we talk about “the good old days”. I don’t think they understand!

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  • Hi Donald.  How right you are. When I lived in Kings Road during the 50s & 60s, we had the following trees, two greengage, three or four golden plum, a damson, two apple and a cherry. Plus a plot where Dad grew vegetables, a greenhouse and a pond made from the base of our air raid shelter. Our garden would not have been considered large at this time. How times have changed.

    By Paul Stickland (07/10/2015)

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