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I was recently at a village near Luton called Eaton Bray. I stayed at a B&B, whose owner told me she had an example of an old variety of damson called the Bedfordshire prune, which she said was grown for the dye, to be used in the Luton hat industry. However, when I asked the straw hat curator at the Stockwood discovery centre, she said she had found no evidence that this tree had been used for the dye.

Does anybody out there know anything about this subject?


Steve Jones

You should ask the local botanical garden to investigate it, Alan. If it really is a Blue Violet, your father has a treasure growing in his garden!

I believe my father has a Blue violet damson tree in his garden at New Milton,Hampshire.
The tree is some 40/50 years old. It has fruited this year and the fruit is eatable straight from the tree.I have just started to make a gallon of wine from the fruit....

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