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Grandads' shed

Please help me TIPTREE JAM to stay in Tiptree

(60 Posts)
pompa Fri 01-Jul-11 08:36:33

We must all have eaten or bought TIPTREE JAM at some time in our lives. Wilkin & Sons have made jam in Tiptree for over 125 years and are a cornerstone of the village. They need to expand their factory and would employ another 200 local people. However the Council are refusing them permission to build houses on their existing site to finance the expansion. This could mean they have to move out of Tiptree with a loss of a potential 500 local jobs.
Please help me by supporting their campaign and spread the campaign World Wide.
Details can be found on the News pages of their website and on their Facebook page at

I have no connection with Tiptree Jam, other than having lived in Tiptree most of my life. Neither I or any of my family have worked for them. I just passionately believe they should continue to make jam here for another 125 years.

pompa Fri 01-Jul-11 08:45:47

oops, was a bit too passionate, got title page totally wrong, I have asked if it can be corrected, should read "Please help TIPTREE JAM to stay in Tiptree"

baggythecrust! Fri 01-Jul-11 08:55:11

We can cope with the title, pompa. why is the council refusing permission to build the houses? Would they be on a flood plain, for instance, or on green belt land?

susiecb Fri 01-Jul-11 09:11:26

Hello Pompa I used to live in Witham just down the road from tiptree and enjoyed many an afternoon tea in their tearoom plus pick your own strawberrries in Tiptree. As you say the jam factory is a local institution and the council are being very difficult over a straightforward matter. it is a nice country area but its not a National park or anything like that and employment round their is not exactly plentiful so yes I will sign the petition. Good Luck

pompa Fri 01-Jul-11 09:16:00

The houses would be on the site of the existing factory, not a flood plain etc. atm, there is supposed to be a hold on further development due to lack of sewerage capacity, but so many small developers are managing to by-pass this restriction, it is ridiculous to prevent the only major employer in the village from building. The sewage capacity has to be upgraded soon, and we want to see Tipree Jam's application at the top of the list.

baggythecrust! Fri 01-Jul-11 09:18:58

Where would the new factory be?

baggythecrust! Fri 01-Jul-11 10:20:29

I'm all for traditional companies carrying on where they began and providing local employment and Tiptree jam is lovely, but I don't feel it is a simple black and white issue.

I had a look at the Tiptree website and their facebook page and their questionnaire. There is not much information but I surmise that Tiptree Jams want to raise the funds to build a new factory by building (and presumably selling) houses on the site where their current factory now is. There are several questions that spring to mind about this.

1. Is there any guarantee that the new factory would be built at Tiptree? Think Cadbury — promises broken, or so it seems.

2. Would the company be willing to speed up the process by offering to pay for some of the needed sewage development? Would seem like a good investment and perhaps further their cause.

3. Where would the jam-making happen in the meantime? Does the company anticipate having a new factory ready before the old one is pulled down?

jangly Fri 01-Jul-11 14:47:19

I like question 3. grin In my opinion, the most important one.

pompa Fri 01-Jul-11 14:57:21

What a lot of questions, I'm not sure I know all the answers, I hope to find out more when they have the public exhibition later this month.

1. If they get the go ahead from the council for the housing + factory package I am totally sure the new factory will be built just a little further from where it is now. In the 1980's the Wilkin family who started and solely owned the business, past it's ownership, in trust, to it's employees, it is not part of any other group. More about this can be found on their history pages. They have for many years supported the village in so many ways.

2. I don't know the answer to that, but I do know they will do everything they possibly can to stay in the village. I'm sure this has been considered/offered.

3. Yes the new factory would have to be built before the old one is pulled down (some parts of the old factory may be listed and remain I suspect.) Tiptree jam is wholly mad e from fresh fruit, so it has to be a seasonal on going process, to pull down the old factory (their is only one factory) before the new one is ready would be impossible.

FYI, the existing factory is right at the edge of the village, their is already housing adjacent to it.

pompa Fri 01-Jul-11 15:19:47

My spelling and grammar are getting worse - put it down to a 3 hour drive home.

baggythecrust! Fri 01-Jul-11 15:44:19

Thanks, pompa. i didn't notice spelling and grammar as I was too busy reading what you said. Thanks for filling in details. That it's an employee-owened company makes a huge difference. I'll read more of the history.

Please keep us updated!

pompa Fri 01-Jul-11 16:03:28

This is a bit of a long winded story, but it is true and sums up Wilkin & Sons attitude to it's employees.
I was at lunch with a rep. from Jonge Poerink a company who we purchased heat treatment conveyors from, when he learnt that I came from Tiptee he told me of his experience a few years before and again that year.
On of the products they made was fruit washing machines, he made an appointment to see Mr Wilkin to discuss his strawberry washer, after tea on the lawn and some discussion, an elderly gentle man was summoned and introduced as the strawberry washer -- end of sales pitch !!. Some years later the rep. was contacted by Mr Wilkin to arrange another appointment to discuss strawberry washers -- the elderly strawberry washer was due to retire smile. Most Tiptree Jam employees are with them for life.

shysal Mon 04-Jul-11 19:03:09

Did you see Tiptree jams featured on ITV today on '10 mile menu'? I have just watched my recording of the programme and they came across well . No mention of the problems unfortunately.

pompa Mon 04-Jul-11 19:06:42

No we missed that, hope it will be on ITV player. Suspect the programme was made before the discussions started.

pompa Mon 04-Jul-11 22:34:47

Thanks for that heads up Shyshal. We use several of the suppliers in the program, Tiptree Jam (who else), Blackwells and the Company Shed. They should have asked us where to get beef, the farm we use hang their beef for 6 weeks, fantastic (but rather expensive, so for special quests). Still trying to see the end , ITV player keeps crashing 2/3 of the way through.

pompa Sat 09-Jul-11 07:29:18

Our Son's best man is a presenter with BBC local radio. Chatting with him last night, he said they would be interested in our campaign, which would be great, even if they remain non-committal it will give the campaign a wider audience.

crimson Sat 09-Jul-11 16:02:06

With you on this one, pompa. My partner told me about this a week or sao ago, but I'm afraid it went over my head. Maybe someone wants a foreign company to buy it and move it abroad [think Terrys and Cadburys]. Probably not, but I'm sick of these local companies going down, and trust no one these days.

tiptree Tue 12-Jul-11 20:34:19

Message deleted by Gransnet.

crimson Tue 12-Jul-11 21:20:59

Thanks for that information; as a company you deserve the co operation of everyone involved. I'm going to make sure that everyone I know buys your jam in preferance to other brands..might not make a huge difference, but, as they say, every little helps. Good luck.

jangly Tue 12-Jul-11 21:31:18

I shall continue to buy my jam from church fetes and Christmas fairs. And then there's the WI market in town. All nice home made stuff.

tiptree Wed 13-Jul-11 21:38:01

Message deleted by Gransnet.

pompa Tue 19-Jul-11 08:54:15

We visited the Tiptree Jam exhibition yesterday, very interesting and informative. I was very pleased to see that they had covered the councils main objection, that of sewerage capacity in the village. They propose to either build their own modern sewerage plant that will serve the new factory, all the proposed housing, with spare capacity to cover part of the existing housing on that side of the village, or, they will finance upgrades to the existing Anglian Water system.
They have three concepts for the factory, traditional, modern and contemporary, these can be seen on their Facebook page.
Their appears to be support from most of the villagers, the word on the street is - TIPTREE JAM MUST STAY IN TIPTREE.
I've been there, got the tee shirt (will post a pic of me in it !)

Stansgran Tue 19-Jul-11 11:03:57

My father loved tiptree black cherry jam and just seeing it on the shelf reminds me- i'm off to buy some today

jangly Tue 19-Jul-11 11:09:34

I love bread and jam.

jangly Tue 19-Jul-11 11:11:21

Tiptree - Have you paid your advertising fee?!


jangly Tue 19-Jul-11 11:16:32

Join the discount partners. We'll have half price please.

jangly Tue 19-Jul-11 11:18:04

my, doesn't time fly when you're on Gransnet. (!!!!!)

JosieGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 19-Jul-11 12:08:10

Thanks for pointing this out jangly.

You can always draw our attention to a post by clicking 'Report' in the top right hand corner - it's the most effective way of getting hold of us.

(Much more than calling our names, which can sometimes get lost in the sound of all the Gransnet chat!)

jangly Tue 19-Jul-11 14:57:04

Right- o Josi.

I think I was more joking than anything when I called your name. smile

pompa Tue 19-Jul-11 16:58:58

I'm sad to see that Tiptree Jam's post was deleted. I don't think they were deliberative trying to promote their products. They are justly proud, as are all the villagers, of the product they have made for over 125 years without significant change.
It is that pride in the Tiptree Jams products and its reputation as a local employer that makes me passionate to do everything I can to ensure they stay in Tiptree.

JosieGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 19-Jul-11 17:25:35

Just to clarify, the post from tiptree was deleted because it was a statement from a company, which we don't allow on Gransnet. We know it was informative, but it's difficult for us to draw the line between advertising and answering questions, so we don't allow posts from usernames that are the same as the company's. It would also be tricky to police who was actually from the company itself. And we wouldn't want other companies feeling like this was a rule that could be broken and that they could advertise and spam the forums.

We feel that the forums should be there for conversation and chat between gransnetters themselves, not for companies to represent themselves. We're happy to think this through if anyone's got any thoughts on this.

We're completely happy for the conversation to carry on and for the campaign to continue - don't feel like we're censoring any gransnetters' conversation at all!

crimson Tue 19-Jul-11 17:45:14

Thanks for that, jangly. pompa; please keep me informed as to how the campaign is progressing. It was good of the company to explain in such detail what had happened so far. Not many companies would be so decent.

jangly Tue 19-Jul-11 17:54:32

Don't you blame me Crimson! grin

Go on their facebook page.

The second post they put up was blatant advertising.

jangly Tue 19-Jul-11 19:10:02

Anyway Crimson Josi couldn't really have heard me call her name! grin. ( I didn't click on the report button). She must have just read the thread anyway.

pompa Tue 19-Jul-11 19:50:14

As Jangly says, for the full story go to their facebook page.
I have said it before, but I will repeat. I have no direct connection with Tiptree Jam, neither I, or any member of my family have ever worked for them. I have however lived in Tiptree for 44 years and know how important they are to the village economy. Without them there will be very few local employers, people will have to travel at least 8 miles to the next nearest centre of employment, and as public transport links are poor, that means they will require a car. I'm not sure what would happen to the many employees that currently live in company houses.
My wife's company recently relocated from the village to another village 10 miles away. She does not drive, that journey would have taken over 2 hours using 3 buses, luckily she was close to retirement and took that option. This would be the problem facing many people should Tiptree Jam have to relocate.
As far as the current campaign goes, I believe the exhibition has been well attended, and the response generally positive. We just have to hope that the council listen to the wishes of the majority. Unfortunately, they have not listened in the past, they seem to live in their own little world.

pompa Wed 20-Jul-11 08:37:41

Got the tee shirt pic added to my photos.

jangly Wed 20-Jul-11 12:12:49

You've got a kind face pomps

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 20-Jul-11 16:12:54

This is all fascinating stuff - and, jangly, we do think Tiptree is entitled to put its point of view, given that this thread was started and continued by gransnetters - though I agree, it is turning out to be rather a nice little promotion for the company (that's why we deleted one post, which seemed to be promoting a bit too enthusiastically.)

But I don't think they can help that.

pompa Wed 20-Jul-11 16:43:37

Jangly, thanks for that, shame about the belly !!!. Blame the Tiptree cream teas for that (other cream teas are available) smile

Baggy Wed 20-Jul-11 16:54:17

pompa, remind your councillors and council officers that they are the servants of the people, not the masters.

pompa Wed 20-Jul-11 16:55:29

Exactly Baggy, although one wonders at times.

crimson Wed 20-Jul-11 17:03:57

I can't remember exactly what the company said in the first post and I'm not sure that I saw the second, but I assume the first one referred to questions raised by us in previous posts, especially my accusation [not actually aimed at the company themselves but at other 'interested parties'] that maybe someone wanted the company to move elsewhere [even to another country to provide more employment there] or be closed down so as not to be competition to another manufacturer. Maybe the second post [which I didn't see] was advertising, but I had wanted to purchase the jam and found it unavailable in my local supermarket. I do understand that it was against the rules of Gransnet, but feel aggrieved that it was pointed out by someone who didn't seem at all interested in the potential loss of employment in the area [an issue close to my heart due to Terrys,Cadburys and now Bombardier]. In this country we so need employers that care about the welfare of their workers and they deserve all the support we can give them.

jangly Wed 20-Jul-11 17:55:45

For God's sake Geraldine - I was having a larf! Slap my wrists why don't you. I really don't give a flying you-know-what if they pay for their advertising or not. Why the hell should I?!

pompa Wed 20-Jul-11 19:13:16

Don't lets make too much of the deleted second post, I accept that it was outside the rules, and it would have created a precedent if it were not deleted.
I have met the person that posted and also posts on their facebook site, he is NOT a advertising/marketing guy, he is a jam maker to the core and passionate about keeping the company in Tiptree, I don't think he was intentionally trying to break any rules. He said to me "If we fail to stay in Tiptree, we will have failed the employees and the people of Tiptree" I think that sums up his feelings.

Jangly, I realise that your original comment was light hearted, I don't think it was why the Tiptree posts were deleted.
I am not sure why the first post was deleted, I thought it just answered questions asked by Gransnetters in a factual way.

If anyone wants to see the various options, go to their web site or facebook page, or better still, get along to their exhibition which runs until Friday.

jangly Wed 20-Jul-11 19:32:30

pompa, I think the exhibition would be lovely - especially if you get free tasters. grin

I really didn't mean to cause any trouble for anyone. I didn't click on the report button.

Not sure if Gransnet HQ are very good at spotting a joke. sad

And I'm 69, not 10. I'm not going to be told off by anyone - except other Gransnetters when I deserve it. winkgrin

Hope it all goes well for your village pomps.

jangly Sat 23-Jul-11 14:35:55

On the lid of the jar of jam we're on at the moment says Tiptree Essex. Wilkin & sons Ltd.

On the label it says St Peters Church Divine Damson jam.

Gorgeous jam and a nice joke too. grin

Stansgran Thu 04-Aug-11 17:37:34

Bought a glossy mag. in France on Saturday and guess what- an elegant table setting for eating al fresco in a glorious garden and Tiptree marmalade not Bonne Maman!in pride of place-wasn't an ad.

pompa Wed 10-Aug-11 20:22:00

FYI, the result of the exhibition questionnaire was 98% in favour 2% against. Th facebook page had over 5000 in favour and an independent petition in the village has over 3000 in favour so far.

shysal Thu 18-Aug-11 19:24:42

pompa - did you see this week's Countrywise Kitchen on ITV ? It came from Essex and briefly featured Wilkins jam. I expect you will recognise most of the venues on the show.

pompa Thu 18-Aug-11 19:48:10

Shysal, no we have not seen it yet, we were away, but have recorded it. Must check it out asap.

pompa Thu 18-Aug-11 21:43:48

Just watched it. Yes we are familiar with most of the places, often pick samphire from the marshes, along with a local crab, perfect!. The Springstep Dairy & farm is new to us, will be visiting that asap. Mrs. P has picked Little Scarlet strawberries in past years.

ElseG Fri 19-Aug-11 17:22:42

On the strength of this Pompa I bought my first ever jar of Tiptree strawberry jam to take away on holiday smile

jangly Sat 20-Aug-11 09:46:34

The Divine jam (purchased from church fete) which I referred to a bit further up/down this thread, depending on whether you have flipped or not, went mouldy half way down the jar.

Yes, I know Pomps!

tiptree Fri 26-Aug-11 19:17:55

Thank goodness it wasn't Tiptree jam, just someone using a Tiptree jar.

Seriously though, jam goes mouldy for a number of reasons - low soluble solids is the main reason home-made jam spoils, the sugar content has to be above around 60% in the finished product (and that sugar content comes from both the sugar you add and the sugar in the fruit).

It's very difficult to hermetically seal home-made jam. We've heard of people heating it in a microwave oven just before screwing the lid on but can't vouch for that. DON"T try it with the lid on please!

Jam can get mould on it from mould spores floating around in the air, especially from bread - that's why you really shouldn't use the same knife to get jam out as you've used to spread it or butter on your bread or toast. And it's better not to keep opened jam and bread in the same cupboard.

Mould is something that us oldies were used to decades ago but is now a worry. Well it's not really, you could scrape off mould and what's underneath will be fine. That applies to cheese too as mould only forms on the surface, where the air can get to the food.

glammanana Sat 27-Aug-11 23:16:04

pompa If the planning is passed and the company can build the house's in question will those house's be of a price that local people will be able to afford ?

Oldgreymare Sun 28-Aug-11 18:47:43

Pompa, just caught up with your thread. Off to tell my lovely neighbour who used to live there AND picked fruit in season ( before you say anything, Jangly, I mean when the fruit was ripe......) Oh dear this gets worse ...
Note to self: Apply the Dennis Healey rule of holes:
'When you are in a hole,stop digging!'
Good luck with the campaign.

pompa Sun 28-Aug-11 19:29:02

Glammamanana the questionnaire asked what type of houses villageers would like. The result was a mix of starter, larger and sheltered housing. Whilst that is not binding on Tiptree jam, from past experience that is exactly what I would expect them to have wished for. They have always put the wishes/interest of Tiptree before financial concerns.

TIPTREE - good to see you back on the forum, a summary of the survey results would be appreciated, please don't promote the company, just facts (GNHQ have rules about commercial promotion).

glammanana Mon 29-Aug-11 15:26:19

That's nice pompa I was only interested as DH worked at Port Sunlight where the house's where let to employee's and then went on to be sold privatley and they where outpriced to the FTB market,the fact that they are looking at supported housing is fabulous as when people downsize they can stay in the same area,well done to the planner's if it all come's off

tiptree Mon 29-Aug-11 20:21:01

Difficult to answer questions on here without being commercial so in brief, with apologies if it's deemed to be an advert:

There are detailed notes about the new jam factory plans on Facebook 'Tiptree - where the jam comes from' page. We asked architects to change mix from 2-4 bedroom homes to 1-5 bedroom in response to local opinion.

Two weeks ago, Peter Wilkin handed over keys to eight new retirement bungalows in Tiptree, just completed off Cherry Chase. Bungalows are complete with fridge freezer, hobs, cookers, washing lines, garden sheds etc.

Thanks for your interest.

JO4 Sun 22-Jul-12 12:47:54

If you still read this Pomps, do you know you can buy Tiptree strawberries now? Grown on their own estate.

How many miles of them do they grow to make all that jam, and still have some left over to sell?!

(Got 'em in Waitrose btw) They are nice.