Harry Wooldridge has received the David Hilton Memorial Medal at the recent East Kent Fruit Society Annual AGM and Dinner; Society President Simon Brice presented Harry with this highly prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the English ‘Top Fruit’ industry.
The David Hilton Memorial Award is presented annually in the name of East Kent Fruit grower David Hilton in memory of his dedication, enthusiasm and considerable time spent supporting fruit growers in East Kent.
Prior to the formal presentation, Roger Worraker gave those attending an overview of Harry’s contribution to the top fruit industry and in particular the success of English Gala. Roger reminded the EKFS members that it was Harry who recognised the virtues of Gala and planted some of the first English Gala back in the 1980’s.
The Gala Club was formed in 1992 with Ian Adamson taking the role of Chairman. Harry took on the role of Chairman in 1994, a role he continued until retiring in 2014. During his tenure he took every opportunity to ‘cajole’ growers, marketing desks and Supermarkets to support the development of what is now the ‘number one’ English grown Apple with circa
50,000 tonnes easily displacing Cox as the nation’s favourite apple. To many growers Harry has English Gala ‘running through him like a stick of rock’ but Harry spent many hours on behalf of the top fruit industry as Chairman of he NFU Fruit Committee and was a founding board member of APDC (Apple & Pea Development Council) back in the late 1970’s along with David Hilton, Ian Adamson and Simon Brice.
Harry is one of the most deserving and popular industry figures to receive the David Hilton Medal and in his response he remembered with fondness his association with David Hilton when David Chaired the APDC.