This year’s Bramley Festival saw hundreds of people visiting Southwell to sample the many events taking place round the town.

The many events ranged from apple-themed activities at the National Trust’s Southwell Workhouse to the popular Festival of Food and Drink with cookery demonstrations and 30 stalls representing the best of local produce in historic Southwell Minster.

A large display of different varieties of apples from John Hempsall’s exceptional Heritage Orchard could be seen in the Minster and new this year was an invitation to come and see the newly refurbished Archbishop’s Palace and Education Centre with apple related children’s craft and cookery demonstrations during the day.

Each year, members of the Nottinghamshire Federation of Women’s Institutes make a special contribution to the Festival with their Annual Apple Pie Competition which took place as usual in the Bramley Centre. In addition, the WI’s own Apple Day stalls could be visited in The Core at the Bramley Centre.

The Bramley Centre also hosted the annual Bramley Apple Painting Competition and Exhibition and was the location for the prize giving ceremonies for the Painting Competition as well as the Poetry Competition.

There were activities for children in the library. The prize giving ceremony for the WI competitions took place in the Bramley Centre and visitors also witnessed the crowning of this year’s Bramley Apple King and Queen. Lowe’s Wong Infants’ School pupils Bailey Watson, 6, and Bay Jaworski, 5, were judged to have the best Bramley apple-themed outfits. Bailey dressed as the superhero Apple-man, while Bay’s outfit was inspired by Strictly Come Dancing.

Visitors were invited to celebrate all things apple with events at The Workhouse by having a go at creating the longest apple peel and hearing stories from The Workhouse Storytellers.

Back in the town visitors strolled through the streets to admire the many apple-themed window displays. The winners of this year’s shop window competition, which was sponsored by Graham Goff of Goffs, were Mr and Mrs Fine Wine with ’Apple Wine on Tap’, second place went to Alistair Morrison’s ‘The Big Apple’ and Askew’ s original artwork depicting ‘Pests of The Bramley’ took third prize. Highly commended were Burleys, C & C, Aspire, Minster Flowers, A Fly Went By, Sue Ryder, The Chocolate Shop, Gossips, Paper Kisses and Real Clothing.

There were performances of music and dance by the Minster School Ceilidh Band and the Festival also featured a special Bramley Race at Southwell Racecourse on 23rd October.

Valued support from Veolio EnviroGrant as well as regular sponsors of the Festival including Nottinghamshire County Council, Southwell Town Council, Kenwood and the NFU, enabled the Festival to grow again this year.

Says Festival Chairman Roger Merryweather: “The fame of this apple has even reached Russia and we were delighted to welcome a group from Kolomna, which is 100 kilometres from Moscow, who were displaying products associated with apples and particularly a beautiful box containing pastila, a traditional Russian delicacy.

“Interest in the apple also extends as far as Obuse in Japan where the apples produced from their own Bramley trees are considered to be a special feature of the area.”