A plum charmer has been appointed by Pershore for the first time in its 400 year history. This is an old tradition in Worcestershire where a clarinet is played to the plum trees to encourage growth. This unusual step has been taken in hope that the plum harvest in the region will increase and thus ensure that the Pershore Plum festival will have a bounty of fruit throughout the month of August.
Paul Johnson, a local solicitor has taken on the role of being Pershore’s plum charmer after finding original trappings of plum charming hidden in his office’s basement while renovation work was being carried out. His task is not to serenade the orchards of plums throughout July in order to encourage the fruits to both grow and ripen.
The town’s first plum charmer was a farmer called Thomas Nevill who swore that his plums tasted sweeter after he’d played the penny whistle to them. Commenting on the appointment Plum Festival Organiser, Angela Tidmarsh, said:
“We’ve already suffered with our asparagus this year thanks to the unpredictable weather so we’re doing anything and everything we can to guarantee our plum harvest. Pershore’s Plum Festival is its bigger tourist attraction of the year and critical to the town’s success”.
Paul, who has been given the blessing of his firm Quality Solicitors Thomson & Bancks to take on the role, has been experimenting with shop bought plums at home. He has discovered different varieties respond to different types of music. Pershore’s Purple Plum, for example, seems to prefer classical pieces such as Elgar whilst the Yellow Egg Plum favours jazz greats like Benny Goodman and the Victoria Plum has a penchant for The Beatles.
The Pershore Plum Festival lasts for a month and officially launches on 20th July.