This is picture #26 of a weekly Photo Challenge that I set myself – there is no particular theme. The idea behind the challenge is to get myself outside into the Cumbrian countryside, at least once a week.
- This week’s photo is of Crab Apple blossom. There are three apple trees growing wild, not far from my home. The smell from the blossom as you approach the trees is glorious. I wish you were able to savour the amazing fragrance.
Every September in nearby Egremont, West Cumbria, we celebrate the humble Crab Apple at the world renowned Egremont Crab Fair. The fair was first held in 1267 when King Henry III granted a Royal Charter to the Lord of the Barony of Egremont, Thomas de Multon. Originally, Egremont held a weekly market and an annual fair at the beginning of September, but over the years that’s now transformed into the Egremont Crab Fair and Sports day.
Traditionally, the Crab Fair combined the local cattle market with public displays of strength and various what we today might call brutal sports by the likes of cock fighting and bull baiting. The Sports part of the day begins with the Parade of the Apple cart, previously known as “the scattering of apples”.
The Crab Fair has its origins in celebration of the end of the harvest when crab apples and other wild fruits where gathered and used as payment to the Manor of Egremont. The Lord of the Manor would in turn would scatter the sour-tasting crab apples among the children in the town by throwing them into the crowd along the Main Street.