Reader Martin Dingle has been in touch with a real curiosity that’s made me wonder – and with autumn now well upon our shoulders, I think this is an interesting prompt for childhood and other memories of the season – of fruit picking, gathering and scrumping, and other natural treats that are found by the wayside.
In the course of keeping my 365daysofbiking journal, I’ve found many fruit tress growing wild, feral or in gardens across the area – they are far more common than one might expect and locally, pears grow wild on the banks of the new pond at Clayhanger and near Little Aston Forge, near Footherley.
I’d be interested in any reader contributions on this, or other related matters – what do you remember? Please comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com – thanks to Martin for a really interesting curiosity.
Have you ever heard of these or do you remember them from your past? I have an old farmhouse in Burntwood with what looks like a tiny pear tree in the front garden. As soon as my grandfather saw it he was overjoyed and said they were ‘Tettenhall pears’… he grew up in Clayhanger and fondly remembers scrumping these tiny pears from a garden near to the canal – presumably somewhere near ‘The Anchor’ pub? Just wondered if you had any recollection of such things in the Brownhills area?
I have done a bit of research on these trees and they are supposedly now very rare, especially this far east of Tettenhall (Wolverhampton) itself. There is a known expert on such things who has recently confirmed our tree to be of the rare Tettenhall variety, going by the name of Paul Hand.
THE future is no longer looking pear-shaped for Britain’s rarest fruit – Tettenhall Dick is back from the brink. Fruit fan Paul Hand has managed to save the small …
‘There is a variety of pear known as ‘Tettenhall Dick’, named after Tettenhall, originally found in the hamlet of Perton and dating to earlier than the 18th century. These small, dry pears are traditionally used for the making of perry. The Bees & Trees charity began a scheme to plant 2,000 Tettenhall Dick trees across the Midlands in a bid to save them, as very few of them existed any more. These trees were grafted from existing Tettenhall Dick trees and the scheme has proven to be a success with trees being planted in a variety of different locations. The variety is now part of the National Fruit Collection at Brodale.
Not too much info online about these, but interesting to me at least – perhaps some of your readers may know more?
I cooked some of ours this season and they are amazing as dessert pears, so now I know what they are I shall continue to do so. There are also links to Perry making (in Perry Barr!) so I might look into that also.