Blackberry picking in July in England? Yes, and they're beauties

I've just returned from a walk around Chichester Harbour along to Warblington cemetery and tower (which some of you might recognise as Warlingham Tower in Tide of Death) up to Havant and back along the coastal path at Langstone, and was amazed to find by the side of the public footpath, bushes of  wild, lovely ripe blackberries. I just couldn't resist them. Fortunately I had a bag on me and was able to pick lots of beautiful black ones, which I shall enjoy eating tonight with custard.

I think these must be cultivated blackberries possibly left over from a garden or allotment that was on the site before the road was enlarged and IBM was built, which is now Langstone Technology Park.  There are blackberries further along the Hayling Coastal Path, which are a legacy of a station master/s who once cultivated them when the Hayling Billy train ran from Havant to Hayling Island. I've often picked these in August but have never had blackberries in July before.  Yummie!

There is an old saying that you mustn't eat blackberries after Michaelmas Day or Old Michaelmas Day,  which is the 29 September or 10 October respectively, when the Devil was cast out from Heaven and landed on a blackberry bush and so cursed them. After this time they are said to have the Devil in them.  My mother has always maintained it is after 10 October, so I'll go with that, but I don't know of any sayings or reasons that prohibit eating them before a certain date. So here's to my blackberries, which I shall enjoy eating tonight.


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