I hear the sirens calling
As the rain is gently falling

Just add custard

I’m massively chuffed to have come across a reference to my great-great-great uncle on the internet. The delightfully named Theodore Dawes was a 19th century rhubarb expert from King’s Lynn in Norfolk and is celebrated in all the best fruit and vegetable circles for “raising up” (I’m reliably informed that is the correct technical expression) two strains of rhubarb in the 1890s – the Dawes Champion and the Dawes Challenge.

Uncle Theodore pops up on the website of Brandy Carr Nurseries, a family company in Yorkshire specialising in rhubarb and liquorice plants. There’s nothing on the site about Theodore getting married at the age of 80 to a lady 30 years his junior, but then I guess there’s no reason for them to know about that. It probably isn’t important anyway – unless she was only after him for his rhubarb. The site also doesn’t mention the fact that he lived in a house which he called Rhubarbia. The path leading to the front door used to have rhubarb leaves carved into it. The house is still there, on Wootton Road in King’s Lynn, but it just has a number now. A pity, really.

Photo courtesy of Rainy Day Gal (where you’ll find lots of superb recipes, most of which involve a bit more than just adding custard)

5 Comments on “Just add custard”

  1. Georgiana Barnes says:

    Also thrilled to read your comments about the family rhubarb man! Theodore was brother to my grandfather Sunny, so we are related. Contact me if you want any info. I have named my eldest son Theodore (Like our relative, known as Theo) I am searching to get some of his rhubarb on my patch.

    • Push says:

      Wow! Great to hear from you! Yes, I’d love to know more. Just trying to think of the best way to share my email address with you. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, you can get in touch with me at https://twitter.com/pushtweeting or https://www.facebook.com/christopher.dawes.3 but let me know if that’s not possible and I’ll think of something else.

      • Georgiana Barnes says:

        Hi Christopher?Push
        well I don’t twitter, but I have sent you a “friend” request on facebook so that I can private message you. The Dawes family are pretty big as you probably know! I am keen on social history and genealogy and have an account with ancestry with probably thousands of our relatives on it! Best wishes Georgie

    • Leonora says:

      Susan welham has some rhubarb or did have.
      Hoping to get some myself hope you are all ok.
      Came upon this purely by chance !!
      Leonora xxx

  2. Leonora says:

    Hi Theodore was my grandfather’s brother just wondered who the author was

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s