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Herefordshire Pomona

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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44174
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 05 2:29 pm    Post subject: Herefordshire Pomona  Reply with quote    

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century there was, as there is again now, great interest in Herefordshire and in the surrounding counties in the conservation of old apple and pear varieties. There was also concern among agriculturalists about the neglected state of many Herefordshire orchards. Efforts were made to restock the orchards with 'the most esteemed kinds of British apples and pears'. A detailed compilation was made over a period of about ten years, by the Pomona Committee of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club of Hereford, of all the notable varieties of apples and pears at that time being grown in Herefordshire orchards. Year by year the Club held apple and pear exhibitions, and the most experienced and distinguished pomologists in the country were invited to inspect the samples of fruit submitted and check their identification. Among these distinguished gentlemen was Dr Robert Hogg, Vice-President of the Royal Horticultural Society, author of The Fruit Manual, a work of immense scholarship, and editor of the RHS Journal. Hogg's enthusiasm found a ready response in Dr Henry Graves Bull, Physician to Hereford Infirmary and past President and a leading member of the Woolhope Club. Between them they compiled, wrote and co-edited The Herefordshire Pomona. They were fortunate in being able to call upon the services of two talented artists, Miss Alice Blanche Ellis, and Bull's own daughter, Edith Elizabeth. Each year, for some eight years, Miss Ellis and Miss Bull painted the apples from the autumn exhibitions, so creating the art work for the Pomona. Hogg wrote the letterpress descriptions and Bull drew the fruit sections, co-ordinated the work and did the copy editing. The book was financed by subscription by the nobility and the gentry of Herefordshire and neighbouring counties.

The Pomona was issued in seven parts, at fifteen shillings for Part 1 in 1878 and twenty-one shillings for each of the remaining parts. When all seven parts were finished, they were bound together to form The Herefordshire Pomona we know today. Six hundred copies were printed with no expense spared. They are now scarce and highly sought after, fetching thousands of pounds when they come up for auction.

With this in mind, and because the information in the Pomona is so useful and important, the committee of MAN has commissioned its webmaster, and a MAN life member, Richard Wheeler to produce a compact disc version which gives users easy access to the information on the fruit varieties contained in the Pomona. At the click of a mouse a full colour illustration of any variety can be called up on to the screen, together with a line drawing of a section and the description of the fruit as printed in the Pomona.


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