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Eric has the fruit packaging record all wrapped up

By West Briton  |  Posted: February 23, 2013

  • Eric Bradshaw of Camborne with his unique collection of orange wrappers.

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Camborne, famed for being the home of steam pioneer Richard Trevithick and the historic Holman family, could also soon be known for having the world's largest collection of citrus fruit wrappers.

Pensioner Eric Bradshaw, from Coronation Avenue, has 2,797 different designs meticulously stuck into albums.

He said: "My wife has been online and the largest collections she found was about 200 wrappers."

The collection was started in the early 1920s by Mr Bradshaw's grandfather Fred.

"He fell ill in 1921 and had to give up work. He lost his balance. He was told he had to eat lots of oranges," said Mr Bradshaw.

"My grandmother said to him, 'why don't you collect the wrappers?' and it all started from that."

For many years, citrus fruits were wrapped in decorated tissue-type paper to offer protection.

Different suppliers used different designs on their wrappers.

In more recent times, citrus fruits – lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruit – have been protected by a thin coat of food-grade wax, which prevents moisture loss and mould growth, minimises bruising and enhances appearance.

Each box of fruit today still normally contains at least one colourful wrapper.

Mr Bradshaw said: "There were about 2,670 citrus wrappers in the collection when I inherited it and I've added another 120 or so.

"I pop around to the local fruit shop, they know me and hang on to any wrappers that come in."

The big problem now for Mr Bradshaw is what to do with what is potentially a world record collection.

He said: "There is nobody else in the family who is interested in keeping the collection going, so I shall probably sell it.

"It would be nice to get enough money to take the wife on a cruise."

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