Japanese visit to Southwell
From Japan for love of an apple

A GROUP of Japanese tourists are heading to the UK – to visit the original Bramley apple tree in Southwell.
Included in the group will be Obuse's vice-mayor, town officials and Bramley apple growers.
"This is very exciting for us to have these people coming such a distance," said Southwell Town Council clerk Carol Standish.
"They have a huge fascination in the Bramley apple. They will be able to learn all about the history of it."
The connection with Obuse began more than 20 years ago when apple producer Minoru Arai visited the UK and ate a British apple pie made with Bramleys.
He loved the flavour so much that, with the help of the Royal Horticultural Society, he managed to get some grafts into Japan.
From that time, he built up a stock, sent samples out to a few growers in the Obuse area – and the apples flourished.

A niche market has now been established, with Bramleys a high-value product.
The fan club grew and now has members who post recipes and Bramley apple news blogs on the internet.
Members will arrive in Southwell on Thursday, August 23, and have a drinks reception at the home of the Dean of Southwell, the Very Rev John Guille. They will then have lunch at the town's Bramley Apple pub before visiting the famous tree.
They will also visit Southwell Minster and stay at the Saracens Head hotel.
The next day, they will visit John Starkey's Bramley apple orchard and the Bramley Centre, which has displays of old photos of Southwell.

Southwell is well-known as the birthplace of the Bramley. It was first grown in the town in 1809, apparently from pips planted by a young girl, Mary Ann Brailsford.
Later, when butcher Matthew Bramley owned the garden, nurseryman Henry Merryweather, son of an experienced fruit grower, propagated cuttings from the tree.
Henry planted the first Bramley apple trees at his nursery in Southwell. The original tree still bears fruit and can be seen in Ms Harrison's private garden.

The Dean, Rachel, Mr Arai, and visitors from Obuse

Nancy Harrison speaks with......