Community celebration for Harvest Festival and 125 year anniversary

October 2018

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle University College will host a community celebration for its 125th anniversary as part of a harvest festival showcasing Essex produce.

The event, from 12pm to 2pm on Sunday 30 September, will be part of the Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell's Missionary Journey from Leaden Roding, through Writtle and onto Chelmsford Cathedral for the County Harvest Thanksgiving Service.

Bishop Stephen, who will be carrying the National Harvest Torch, will be visiting Writtle University College on route, where he will plant a Crab Apple tree to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

Professor Tim Middleton, Vice-Chancellor of Writtle University College, said: “This event is an opportunity for Writtle University College to celebrate with the community the thriving farming sector, food production industry and rural business in Essex and beyond, which we are proud to be part of.”

Bishop Stephen will also meet with University College and Essex Agricultural Society staff over a lunch of harvest soup and local bread and will be given a taster of the inspiring education opportunities at Writtle.

Visitors from the local community to the event will be able to see how Writtle has changed over its 125-year history, from its inception as an agricultural college in 1893 through to the wider portfolio of courses it offers today.

Agricultural machinery and equipment will be on show from the bygone era and the present day, with the new agricultural dealership Crawfords – situated across the road from the University College’s main campus - supplying a state-of-the-art tractor.

Essex Outdoors – one of the Writtle’s partners for its new Foundation Degree in Sports Science with Outdoor Activity – will be bringing a climbing wall for visitors to try out. The first Writtle University College cycling road race will also be held on the day with the hugely successful team OnForm, partners of WUC’s Foundation Degree in Cycling Performance.

There will be tours of the grounds showing the beautiful campus, which is often used as a practical classroom for Horticulture students, and visitors could even take a snap of themselves using a floral selfie frame made by Floristry students.

Following on from his visit, Bishop Stephen will take the Harvest Torch, a beautiful metal sculpture, onto the Cathedral, where Writtle University College’s Graduation Ceremonies were recently held.

There, food producers, including gardeners and allotment-keepers, will bring produce for the celebration.