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Little Scarlet pickers battle it out for coveted title at annual strawberry race

PUBLISHED: 09:52 22 June 2018 | UPDATED: 09:52 22 June 2018

Pat Bembridge, winner of best hat title at Tiptree Strawberry Race Picture: IAN CLARK

Pat Bembridge, winner of best hat title at Tiptree Strawberry Race Picture: IAN CLARK

Wilkin & Sons

Festive farm workers and visiting teams battled it out in the strawberry fields to harvest the heaviest crop of a tiny fruit delicacy grown in Essex.

Tyler Bennett from The Quirks, winners of the best dressed team, receiving his award from Walter Scott, at Tiptree Strawberry Race Picture: IAN CLARKTyler Bennett from The Quirks, winners of the best dressed team, receiving his award from Walter Scott, at Tiptree Strawberry Race Picture: IAN CLARK

The work was not as back-breaking as usual this year at the annual Tiptree Strawberry Race as pickers worked at table top height for the first time to deliver the precious Little Scarlet fruit to jam makers Wilkin & Sons. The tiny strawberries go into the firm’s most celebrated jam. Partipants took this year’s theme, High Flyers, to heart, with a range of hats and costumes celebrating this year’s centenary of the Royal Air Force (RAF100), along with a replica of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Funds raised will go to RAF100 and spinal injury charity Aspire, both of which thanked those taking part. Wilkin & Sons chairman Walter Scott said: “This really is a quirky event with so many people raising money for two important charities.”

Fastest picker was Slavcho Pavlov of Bulgaria with 4.28kg, and runner-up was Alina Apetrei of Romanie with 4.21kg.

The fastest team was Thursday Cottage with 14kg, and Packhouse came in second with 12.5kg.

The best dressed team winner was The Quirks from the Tiptree sales office, and Biggles from RSM was runner-up. Best hat title went to Pat Bembridge with her ‘another safe return’ headgear, and the Pudding Mafia team from the Pudding Room was runner-up.

Slavcho Pavlov, winner of the fastest picker award at Tiptree Strawberry Race Picture: IAN CLARKSlavcho Pavlov, winner of the fastest picker award at Tiptree Strawberry Race Picture: IAN CLARK

Rebecca Davies of the RAF Association said: “Congratulations on the hats that look incredible and the fancy dresses are amazing.”

Hannah Wyatt from Aspire said: “Thank you so much for all turning up to compete for our charities. Aspire provides practical help for people with spinal injuries which enables many of them to return to their own homes.”

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