Stars in the field - The Tiptree Strawberry Race
9th June 2020
This year we are reflecting on some of the celebrities and guests who have helped raise funds for charities at this very unusual race: The Tiptree Strawberry Race. The Little Scarlet strawberry is really the star of the day and the race is a chance to find fastest/best picker of these tiny berries; but for those who are less dexterous there is still a chance to win a prize with the best costume reflecting the theme of the race. For our traditional pickers this is just a short break from their usual routine of early morning picking.
We have been fortunate to host several television personalities at the Tiptree Strawberry Race include: Jimmy Doherty, Vicki Michelle (‘Allo ‘Allo), Helen McDermott (ITV Anglia), Babs Powell & Hannah Waterman, Graham Cole (from Dr Who), Holby City stars Tom Chambers and Rebecca Grant, X-Factor stars plus guest appearances from cricketers: Darren Gough and Ronnie Irani as well as some enthusiastic London chefs – we are grateful for their support. Judging the best dressed picker and the best hats is a challenge for the celebrities. It was fun to see an array of lavish hats bobbing along the strawberry fields as pickers crouched on the ground to pick the fruit; but this is changing as the fruit is now grown on table top height – making it quicker and easier to pick. One year our special guest was a replica Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this was the most popular ride of the day.
The original idea of the Tiptree Strawberry Race was to have an hour of fun in the strawberry field and create media interest while raising funds for charity; over the years donations have been given to: Essex Air Ambulance, Essex Wildlife Fund, Essex Hospices, Local Playgroups, Brainwave, Lord Taverners (giving young people a sporting chance), RABI, Aspire (helps people with spinal injuries), Farleigh Hospice, RAF 100, Royal British Legion, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and towards a local pensioners’ lunch to mark H M The Queen’s 90th birthday.
While we will miss the fun of this year’s Tiptree Strawberry Race the Little Scarlets will still be picked ready to be driven across the field to the jam factory where they will be made into our finest of Tiptree conserves.