Wednesday, 20 October 2021

How Harry created Henley runner bean

DID you know that Henley has its own variety of runner bean?

It was developed in the Sixties and Seventies by resident Harry Lovejoy using beans he had grown.

The variety was then kept going by Graham Jones, who used to live in Market Place but is thought to have moved away.

It is still grown by Dave McEwen, chairman of the Henley Allotments Association.

Dave believes that Harry got Sutton Seeds interested in the idea of a new variety and the firm helped develop it by cross-pollinating different varieties of bean.

He says: “I think Harry originally did it for his own use and then shared it with some of his friends. When he retired there must have been a conversation with Graham who was asked to take on the stewardship of it.”

Dave who has plots at the Greencroft allotments, off Matson Drive, says the Henley runner bean is planted and harvested later than other varieties.

“We try to keep it going and want to spread the word about it,” he says. “It produces red flowers and the beans grow very long and they taste terrific.”

If anyone has more information about Harry or the Henley bean please get in touch.

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