The Anonymous Widower

Did These Strawberries Have Road- Or Rail-Miles?

These strawberries were grown my M Porter in Perthshire and I bought them in the M & S Simply Food store in Waterloo station.

So did they travel between Perthshire and London, by truck or train?

I think the strawberries came from East Seaton Farm, owned by Lochart and Debbie Porter.

If the strawberries were to be grown any further East, they’d be grown in the middle of the North Sea.

But did they come South, by road or rail?

I suspect it was the former, but there is change in the air! Or do I mean on the rails?

In My First Ride In A Class 769 Train, I talked about Rail Operations Group and their proposed Orion parcels service, that will use Class 769 trains.

This service would surely be ideal to bring strawberries and Arbroath smokies to the South.


June 8, 2021 - Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. Its all in the picture. Artics with refrigerators on the front of the trailers. Some caravans for overseas seasonal pickers. Plenty of cars parked on site probably for the locals ( Arbroath is just too far away to walk or cycle) . Just hope the variety you bought was not Elsanta which is one of many new strawberries that are hard , relatively tasteless, has a long shelf life and looks good.

    Comment by Thomas Carr | June 8, 2021 | Reply

    • They were a variety called Magnum. I think there’s a trend to go for large varieties that can be picked by Roberts (I remember the Not The Nine O’Clock News joke about a Fiat car, that was hand-built by robots and driven by Italians!

      Dyson’s strawberries from Lincolnshire are large too!

      I can see a time, when all strawberries will be grown in vast automatic greenhouses with a low level of staff!

      They all could be organic too!

      Comment by AnonW | June 9, 2021 | Reply

  2. There will be a need for a lot of ‘Roberts’ in the future if your prediction is correct… I grow the small alpine and wild variety and, if I can pick them before the birds do, they pack a real flavour punch, but will never win a ‘size’ contest…

    Comment by PJS | June 9, 2021 | Reply

    • I remember reading an article in a magazine like New Scientist in the 1970s, that said that all fruit will be picked automatically in the near future.

      We have made progress with some fruits like blackcurrants, but we’ve got a long way to go.

      It should be noted that BBC’s Countryfile has shown some interesting developments in the last year.

      Comment by AnonW | June 9, 2021 | Reply

  3. So your M & S strawberries have done 400+ miles – if they went by road it is a good chance they came down the M74/A74(M) and M6 which passed us by as we are near Carlisle.

    My Sainsbury’s strawberries purchased in Carlisle are from Essex – so 300 miles the opposite way.

    Passing each other on the M6?

    Comment by chilterntrev | June 9, 2021 | Reply

  4. Essex, Lincolnshire, East Yorkshire and Perthshire! There’s certainly a pattern here in that strawberries seem to be grown in the East.

    Comment by AnonW | June 9, 2021 | Reply

  5. […] Did These Strawberries Have Road- Or Rail-Miles?, I talked about strawberries going between Scotland and […]

    Pingback by My First Ride In A Class 769 Train « The Anonymous Widower | June 9, 2021 | Reply

  6. The farm is two miles on foot from Arbroath Railway Station, served by trains to Glasgow, London and Edinburgh. There is also a small rail head. OTOH for soft fruit, the less handling the better.

    The north bank of the Dee is renowned for soft fruit production. Also common in north Lincolnshire, Vale of Pickering and elsewhere.

    Automated picking very difficult, however crops that may be harvested by simply shaking the bush (grown under cover) have been bred, as have plants bred to crop more or less simultaneously – e.g. vine tomatoes.

    PS worth noting that rail freight has rebounded to levels above pre-pandemic, but that may be as much to do with the Brexodus of EU lorry drivers as better operation.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | June 10, 2021 | Reply

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