The Plum Charmer of Pershore

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

plum tree

My plumless tree

My plum tree isn’t going to be creaking with juicy, fat plums this year. There’s not a one on it. What I might need is a plum charmer which is what the organisers of the annual Plum Festival in Worcestershire have used.
Apparently, it is an old tradition to play music to the trees as the first plum charmer in Pershore, Thomas Nevill, claimed that his plums tasted sweeter after he serenaded them on his penny-whistle. The Plum Festival is Pershore’s biggest tourist attraction. Personally I would have said the pretty town is enough to attract people on its own but everywhere needs a helping hand. It runs until August ending with a Grand Festival finale on the August bank holiday weekend.
The Grand Launch takes place tomorrow and the festivities continue, not all of them being in Pershore. There is a family race night at Worcester racecourse on the 31st of this month. How versatile a plum can be is demonstrated by the fact that you can buy plum sausages and cheeses, plum ale and cider along with more traditional fare such as cakes and jams.
If Neville used a penny-whistle, did he try different instruments to see which was the best? There seems to be no record of that but the present charmer, Paul Johnson, is using a clarinet. In his solicitor’s office he found the “trappings” which may have moved him to volunteer for the job. He has made some experiments. Pershore’s Purple Plum prefers classical music such as Elgar (a local Worcestershire lad) whilst the Yellow Egg Plum prefers jazz and The Victoria goes for the Beatles.
But does playing Elgar dispirit the Yellows and the Victorias? Do they the turn a little sour? Or less sweet? Does Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory make the Purple’s push out the skins with pride at being British? Which Beatles song has the biggest effect? Why a clarinet? What happens if you use a bassoon? What is the effect on greengages? (Another tree that’s not doing well this year.) It seems to me that the Plum Festival might like to sponsor a PhD student to send a couple of year’s answering these tricky questions.

For more information on the Plum Festival, click here

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