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International Farm Camp Memories.... - a Memory of Tiptree.

On a whim I just did a search of tiptree international farm camp. My wife and I worked there in the summer of 1971 and have many fond memories of the many different people we met there during our 6 week stay. It appears from their web site that accommodations and wages have changed dramatically. In our day we paid £ 5 a week for room and board and were paid 10p for a 6 quart basket of picked strawberries!!

Your photo of the farm camp is exactly as I remember it to be in 1971. We stayed in the WW I tents like those in the foreground and traveled to the berry fields on the flat top wagon being pulled by a tractor like the one in front of the building. The building was a combined mess hall and rec hall where we had wonderful dances on Friday nights hilighted by the Spaniards in the camp mimicking bull fights and throwing each other high in the air with blankets.

After we left the camp we visited no less than 10 'camp mates' in their home countries as we hitch hiked around Europe in August. At that time that was a common activity which, regretfully, seems to be on the wane. Being Canadian it not only provided us with the opportunity to meet locals as we traveled but also allowed us to visit many countries at a reasonable cost.

A final memory to share: while at Tiptree the students staged a "strike" over wages! It lasted only one afternoon and occurred when we found out that pickers at other nearby fruit farms were being paid more than we were. I particularly remember a South African watching in amazement as this developed. Later he explained that that was the first strike he had ever seen or known as they were outlawed in apartheid South Africa at the time!! We met him many years later and he stilled laughed about that experience.


A memory shared by ewillis2010 on Jul 8th, 2014. Send ewillis2010 a message

 Comments & Feedback

Sun Dec 28th 2014, at 7:49 pm
kenparradine commented:
I remember Tiptree because I went to the secondary school in the main road. This was in 1956-1957
I lived in Red House in the Hamlet of Messing with about 20 other boys.
The reason I remember the windmill is that as part of a competition organised by the home, it was my decision to paint this mill.
My efforts were rewarded with 10 shillings: a lot to a 13 year old!

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