The Master’s Day Out

 Tiptree Farm and Cressing Temple Barns

20th July 2018


We were in luck. It was not one of the hot and sticky days which have characterised the summer thus far. It was pleasantly dry, warm and fine for the 30 or so who came to the Day Out. And, despite the best efforts of the rail network to delay those of us who arrived by train, the day proceeded smoothly after that initial hiccup.
At Tiptree where we went first, we were greeted by refreshments and the Joint Managing Director, Christopher Newenham, who gave us a fascinating history and verbal tour of the Tiptree brand. That was followed by one of the highlights of the day – a splendidly bumpy trip on a tractor-drawn trailer round the farm, looking at the areas where a vast variety of fruits are grown.  The first memorable sight was a group of mulberry trees, some 120 years old and still bearing fruit. We learnt that if you pick mulberries they indelibly stain your hands red; hence, on one view, the phrase, “being caught red handed”. We bumped happily round the farm and stopped at the strawberries where we were allowed to get off and eat as many of the ripe ones as we could pick; that was a real treat. We also saw the method of growing strawberries on ‘tables’ above ground to deter animals who shouldn’t get at them from doing so. We also saw a new system of growing strawberries on oscillating table tops: remarkable!
And so, back to the farm and on to nearby Cressing by minibus and car. Another surprise awaited us there: it was an impressive site with splendid buildings The proper name is Cressing Temple because the very wealthy Knights Templar had a headquarters there. We were treated to a substantial ploughman’s lunch and then a local farmer, Robert Bucknell, told us something of the history of types of wheat and the site. Then he took us to see what is said to be the oldest barn in the world. It was a huge barley barn, one of three different barns on the site. Another was for storing wheat. Following that we were able to stroll round the site which included a bakery and a delightful and peaceful walled garden.
The day ended with a cream tea and with gifts of Tiptree English raspberry gin liqueur and Tiptree jam (what else could it have been?) in jars with the label. “Master’s Day Out”.
Huge thanks are due to Liveryman Caroline Kenyon and to Sally Carpenter, the PR co-ordinator for Tiptree for setting the day up and organising it so well. Oh, and by the way, the return train journey was uneventful.



Stephen Kramer

The group at the beginning of the day

The mulberry picker "caught red handed"

Picking and eating strawberries

The oldest barley barn in Europe

The wheat barn

Inside the wheat barn

Some of the group at the end of the day