A triumphant Apple Day in Okehampton

27 October 2023

On Thursday 26 October Amy and Jon hosted an afternoon of free activities to celebrate Apple Day 2023.

Despite the forecast of heavy rain, the event was well attended by families who were keen to get stuck in to the different songs, games and tasks.

We began with the ceremonial halving of an apple to open the event, followed by pressing many kilos of fruit with a hand-powered ‘scratter’ (crusher) and press. Everyone enjoyed a small glass of juice with most families able to take a bottle of juice home with them.

After this we sang the Apple Round – a new folk song we wrote in the 1990s. Some children had learnt the song with Jon and Marilyn in school the week before, so they helped the other children and adults to learn it on the day.

Families were then invited to try different simultaneous activities: answer an apple quiz, or identify seven different apple varieties by the look, feel and smell. The last activity was a new contraption created especially for the event. We have named it a Dartmoor Newton’s Cradle. Without using their hands, up to 4 participants at a time race to be the first to bite an apple which hangs from a string. All the activities were enjoyed by everyone.

The event ended with the annual Wren Music Conker Competition. The contest was harder this year than in previous years as the ‘stamps’ rule (where you can crush your opponent’s conker with your shoe if it falls to the floor) was much harder to implement on soft grass. The final was played between Willow and Tessa, two seven year olds from Okehampton, with Willow being the ultimate winner. Her winning conker was tied onto the ‘notcher’ trophy, and her family are now custodians of the notcher until next year’s competition.

Thanks to Devon County Council for supporting the event, and to Okehampton Community Garden for providing such a wonderful setting for the celebrations.

Happy Apple Day everyone!