Richmondshire nursery celebrates 50th anniversary

Ravensworth Nurseries.

Ravensworth Nurseries will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a day of fun this weekend.

The event on Sunday from 10am to 4pm will also see the official opening of the firm’s new outdoor plants and retail area.

Among the activities will be a chilli cook-off competition, with chilli growers invited to bring along their cooked chilli for the judges to taste.

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Cash prizes are available for the best.

There will also be stalls, a jewellery making workshop and bouncy castle.

Money will be raised at the event for Macmillan Cancer Research.

The nursery was started in a lean-to greenhouse built on the side of Doug Bradbrook’s tied cottage at Wycliffe, near Barnard Castle.

He and brother-in-law Doug Hannah grew tomatoes and strawberries to sell at Whorlton Lido to the daytrippers.

Doug Bradbrook and Bill Hannah.

In 1967, the first piece of land at Ravensworth was purchased and the business set up by 1968 it was known as Bradbrook & Hannah, later becoming Ravensworth Nurseries Ltd

The initial crops grown were tomatoes in the summer and winter lettuce for the premium Boxing Day markets. In 1973 the business changed and moved into bedding plant production and ornamentals such as cyclamen and poinsettias.

The first large greenhouse built in 1963 at Wycliffe.

In 1997, the business was Grower of the Year winners and in 1998 got into the Guinness Book of Records having created a hanging basket measuring a world record of 15ft 9in high and 23ft 3 inches in diameter which produced upwards of 20,000 blooms.

To find out more about the celebrations on Sunday click here.