The Everyday Lore Project

17 July 2020 – St Kenelm’s Day

17 July 2020 – St Kenelm’s Day

Cherries are big in July, as were the Cherry Fairs or Cherry Feasts. Cherry Fairs were not only part of the traditional celebration of the cherry harvest, but a philosophical device for 14th and 15th century poets to mourn the transitory nature of life:

Thy lyfe, my sone, is but a chery-feire

Occleve, ‘De regimine principum’

These days the reputation of the Cherry Fair has been rehabilitated from rowdy drunken beano, to rowdy family orientated beano. Last year, a Cherry Fair in Kent boasted a pie eating competition, a stone spitting competition, pig racing, and a miniature railway. But with everything being cancelled this year, I made some Cherry Bakewell ice cream instead. I figured I’d need something to aid the passage of the Heg Peg Dump on Monday.

And as it’s also World Emoji Day today, I thought I would tell the story of how my Cherry Bakewell ice cream was made in emojis:

🍒🍒 🍒🍒 🥥 🍁 ↑ √ 🔩 🔴👩‍🍳🥃EY🥘 🍒🥵🥃EY🍸❄️

I’m not very good at emojis, Catchphrase was an anathema to me. Here are some photographs instead:

Addendum: I did need to perform quite a lot of ‘essential’ quality control on the cherries. I didn’t have any almond essence so used ground almonds, and I didn’t have any red food colouring so used grated beetroot (also in season) instead. When the mixture got to the sauce pan, it tasted overwhelmingly of maple syrup but after boiling, it was very cherry-y. And I won’t know if I’ve been successful until tomorrow as it has to freeze overnight. 

Small confession. Cherry Day was actually yesterday and it’s Peach Ice Cream Day today (but peaches are only just coming into season). Other Life being such as it was yesterday, I couldn’t get a hold of any cherries until today. I have considered my wrists slapped. At least I didn’t swallow any of the cherry stones like I used to. Growing up, I was perfectly convinced I had a cherry tree growing in my stomach. Along with a lot of grape vines. 


Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Wright, T (1892) A History of Domestic Manners and Sentiments in England During the Middle Ages, London, Chapman and Hall

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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