The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers Lewis Award for distinguished Service to the Marketing of Fresh Fruit awarded to The National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show
The Lewis Award, founded in1967, is presented triennially either to individuals or to organisations for exceptional services to the marketing of fresh fruit. The Award for 2013 went to the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show. The Master presented the Award at the Annual Banquet on 11th February.
During the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century cherry growing in the UK was booming. By the 1950s however cherry production was in a poor state, the trees were not suited to modern growing and harvesting techniques and the varieties grown were being overtaken by better quality cherries from abroad.
During this time a small group of determined growers showed the public that it was still possible to find home grown cherries, which tasted better than all the competition and exhibited them at the Cherry Show.
Then about 15 years ago new dwarfing rootstocks were introduced to the UK and there followed large scale new planting of cherry orchards. Cherry growing is now one of the brightest stars in British horticulture. This new dawn would not have happened if the Cherry Show had not kept interest in the industry alive.
The main driving force behind the Show over the years and its current Chief Steward is Past Master Tony Redsell OBE. It was no surprise therefore that he was chosen to receive the Lewis Award at the Banquet on behalf of the National Cherry and Soft Fruit Show.