A Random Pic, 1979

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When not involved in the engineering team for Martin Baker’s ejector seats,  my Grandad Alan designed this fruitpick. He subsequently made 5 more for the apple trees we used to have growing in the garden in Lyne.

My Dad was advised to advertise the picker nationally, so ran adverts in The Field magazine, Telegraph and  Countrylife, @£9.95 incl p&p

On the Monday 7 orders arrived, Tuesday 40 and by the Wednesday the postman delivered a huge sack of 700 orders and it didn’t stop. We spent the next year trying to get on top of them, enlisting the help of friends and family and working out of the green shed.

Kay and I were in charge of boxing and taping, we must have been 8 and 6 at the time.

The first year was the best, then the idea was copied and advertising, insurances, time etc became too high for it to be sustainable and profitable.

In the meantime, my dad continued to run his shop in Putney and a ‘humane animal trapping’ sideline/plan B mail order business from home which was quite ahead of its time too.

Jane Tyson

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