Tiptree Travel Guide

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Tiptree Things to Do

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    From fields of fruit, to international F3 4 more images

    by arturowan Written Dec 19, 2013

    Any journey through Tiptree is unique because of the aroma in the air - it's the sort of mouth-wateringly sweet scent you receive from the rush of hot air, when you open the oven door after baking jam tarts...
    This is because, Tiptree is the tiny Essex town, which gives its name to the product that is exported around the world by Wilkin & Sons, the jam, lemom curd, & marmalade manufacturer...
    Every label on every jar they turn out, declares the same simple statement to buyers in 70 different countries; 'Tiptree.Essex.England'
    It's truly a wonder that from this factory comes all those jars of jam, to satisfy markets all over the planet, & now the company is so successful, they are even sponsoring an Italian f3 driver, Antonio Fuoco, to bear their logo on his overalls!
    Tiptree in England is famous globally not only because of the jam factory, but also because the same company grows its own fruit for many of its varieties, including the company's most highly prized flavour; Little Scarlet...
    The Little Scarlet is actually an American bred strawberry, similar to an alpine variety; so very tiny, but with a condensed sweet taste, & in jam makes for a more intense flavour...
    Little Scarlet strawberries are grown in the fields around the Wilkin & Sons works, but England, with its unreliable seasons, is far from an ideal location for which to grow this crop...
    In 2012 with its cold spring & monsoon excuse for a summer, yields were reduced by 80% - meaning that Little Scarlet became unavailable to buy in England, because the company were stretched to meet demand from foreign markets...
    Foreigners do not only know about Tiptree, inadvertantly because of buying its local jam, but also because Wilkin & Sons are a seasonal employer of pickers to harvest their 850 acres...
    Almost all this work is done by students who are accommodated on site, most of whom have come from countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, & Ukraine...
    The Visitor Centre, incorporating Tiptree Tea Room, is on the same site as the factory, so even before reaching the big black, wrought iron gates, the scent of their product in the making, will be tempting you in...
    Traditional English cream teas are served with scones, Tiptree brand tea in a fine bone china pot, & of course, the Tiptree preserve of your choice...
    Visitors in summer can enjoy their tea with lunch or cake, served outside on the sun terrace, & watch the activity outside the factory...
    If factory visits interest you, than Wilkins & Sons cater to this too, because the Visitor Centre homes a museum of bygone jam-making utensils & implements...
    The collection has been sourced by John Wilkin, & is now housed in an old barn, with free admission to interested parties, & the entire estate is opened up once a year, on a Sunday...
    & all this history of sweet success because of the company's founder, Arthur Charles Wilkin, who started the company specifically to export jam to Australia, in 1885
    0pening times; 09:30 - 04:30 Monday - Saturday & 10:00 - 04:30 Sunday (half hour later daily, during summer)

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Tiptree Restaurants

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    Tiptree cream tea

    by Ash59 Updated Mar 15, 2003

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    Favorite Dish: Cream Teas!

    A cream tea at this place includes 2 fruit scones, butter, a pot of their jam, fresh cream and a pot of hot tea.

    Del-ish-ous!

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    Tiptree tea room

    by Ash59 Written Mar 15, 2003

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    Tiptree tea room is on the same site as the factory and farm that produces jam and associated products. This small place provides for hot food, sandwiches and deserts, all of which is fresh cooked or made on the premises.

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Tiptree Favorites

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    Tiptree Jam Filler

    by Ash59 Updated Mar 15, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Wilkins & Sons produce Jam Preserves, Marmalade, Relishes, Mustards, Honey, and Tea, just to name a few of their different products.

    The picture shows an old fashioned jam filler, which can be found in the museum. Before 1950, when this filler was first introduced, every jar was filled by hand. One person filled approx 20 jars per minute.

    This machine increased capacity to 60 jars per minute and required one operator to feed the empty jars and one to remove filled jars, thus increasing turnover by 100% over the hand filled operation.

    Fondest memory: .
    One particular product draws attention from connoisseur's across the world is the jam made from a strawberry called "Little Scarlet".

    The Little Scarlet originates from the USA and has been grown at Tiptree since 1887. The tiny berries are usually no larger than a 1p coin (up to 20mm) and have an intensely sweet flavour. The plants are difficult to cultivate, erratic croppers and due to its size, the fruit takes longer to pick and sort. Wilkin & Sons are believed to be the only commercial growers of this fruit anywhere in the world today.

    This fruit begins to ripen in June and is generally picked and in the jar by the end of July. Because the fruit is so small, the amounts produced are not great and to find a pot in a supermarket is a rarity. The Wilkins website - www.tiptree.com - gives details on where you can buy their produce.

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    Tiptree museum

    by Ash59 Updated Mar 15, 2003

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    Favorite thing: There are many things of interest to view and listen to in this museum. They have jars of preserve from circa 1900 to today, machines that were designed to reduce the drudgery of man handling fruits in the past and tales of workers and buyers, from past and present.

    When the original proprietor started the factory, he realised that the mainstay would not be the machinery or the produce but the people that he employed. To this end, he built cottages and housed his workers in them. To this day, workers still have this privilege so skills are passed on from generation to generation. Almiost all of the workers in the factory live in the viallage of Tiptree.

    Fondest memory: As stated previously, Wilkins & Sons export to around about 60 countries around the world. They also distribute to many shops and superstores within the United Kingdom.

    One unusual order that they did not expect was delivered to them on a Sunday in 1918, just as they were walking back from Church.

    A small aircraft appeared and dropped a small streamer which the people found to have a request to deliver some of their produce to the Officers Mess at Stow Maries aerodrome.

    Over a period of time, many of these orders were dropped by the Sopwith Snipe, named "Red Nose" until, one day, a different plane appeared with the message "Red Nose crashed so I can't come and see you as often as I used to - CLM".

    Unfortunately, "CLM" - Lieutenant Milburn, later died in a dogfight over Oxley Hill, so the staff never got to meet him.

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    Tiptree museum

    by Ash59 Written Mar 15, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Wilkins & Sons have been producing preserves at Tiptree for more than 115 years. They export to around 60 countries around the world.

    A full explanation of what this company does, its history and what it produces can be found in the small museum found at the factory site.

    Fondest memory: For more information, visit www.tiptree.com

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