The East Anglian fruit growing community is small enough without losing any of its members. The sad news of the death, at home with his family, of fruit grower David Tippett, aged 89 years, will leave a sizeable hole in fruit growing in Essex; it will be much diminished by his departure following a long, debilitating illness.
Based at Lamberts Farm, Earls Colne, near Colchester, David Tippett grew apples, blackcurrants and blackberries with his late son Piers, who was destined to continue the business until his premature death 10 years ago, after which the farm was sold. Six years ago David retired to West Mersea, Essex, to enjoy his passion for sailing.
David was born in Peking, China, and served in Bangalore where he was commissioned into the 9th Gurkhas, for whom he had a lifelong affection. He subsequently trained at Writtle College, near Chelmsford, Essex.
The name Tippett is synonymous with blackcurrants, the entrepreneurial business having supplied rooted plants to the industry for many years, gaining a Royal Warrant, and being closely involved with the Scandinavian blackcurrant harvester manufactured by Joonas, that has been rated as ‘the most superior of its kind’.
In addition to his farming prowess, David put much back into the industry with his off-farm activities. A dedicated supporter of the NFU, he greatly contributed to its affairs both regionally and nationally as a member of the Horticultural Committee.
He was an avid supporter of the Essex and Suffolk Fruit Growers Association, and as a member of EMRA he regularly attended the Top Fruit Days staged at East Malling Research (now NIAB-EMR). He was able to contribute much from his regular attendance at farm walks and on fruit farm visits in the Eastern Counties, and many other fruit growing regions of the world.
Faith Tippett and her daughter Louisa remain in East Anglia. Faith will be long remembered for her work with the East Anglian Branch of the Women’s Farming Union that was so active in promoting home-grown apples after the UK joined the European Union and came under pressure from imported fruit.