Gemma is custodian of the carrots - caring for Doddington WI’s 1936 preserved vegetables

Some bottled carrots that belong to Doddington WI that were bottled in 1936.

Some bottled carrots that belong to Doddington WI that were bottled in 1936. - Credit: Archant

GEMMA Watts has a very special job with Doddington WI. Not only is she the secretary, but she is custodian of the carrots - looking after a jar of bottled carrots that pre-date the Second World War.

Some bottled carrots that belong to Doddington WI that were bottled in 1936.

Some bottled carrots that belong to Doddington WI that were bottled in 1936. - Credit: Archant

The carrots are carefully stored in Gemma’s pantry in dark and cool surroundings, and every so often they are taken to WI meetings for new members to marvel at.

Gemma is now wondering if they are the oldest preserved carrots in the UK, and is preparing to write to the Daily Telegraph newspaper to issue a challenge for readers to find any older preserved vegetables.

“The carrots were bottled by Nellie Fresher for a WI competition in 1936,” said Gemma . “We have a card with all the details on. The carrots in the Kilner jar are part of Doddington WI’s heritage, our branch was founded in 1919.

“Another member of the WI used to look after them, but when she moved away, they came to me about five years ago. Every so often we bring them out and talk about them.


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Gemma took the bottled carrots to the February meeting of the WI, where members were also treated to a talk about recycling in Fenland, given by Nick King of Ameycespa.

He brought along seven sculptures made out of recycled materials, and displayed toys made by schoolchildren from recycled materials. He was thanked by Natalie Jolly.

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Lucky winners of the raffle were Marjorie Bishop, Carol Turner, Sally Shortland, Gill Johnson and Carol Garcia. Refreshments were served by Jenny Mair and Suzanne Tucker.

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