Funeral held for original Bramley Apple tree custodian Nancy Harrison
9:00am Wed Dec 03, 2014
Nancy Harrison
Nancy Harrison
A funeral service was held in Southwell Minster yesterday for Miss Nancy Harrison, the custodian of the original Bramley apple tree.
Miss Harrison, 94, lived all her life at 75 Church Street, Southwell, now Bramley Tree House.

She was educated in a one-room school at Easthorpe and before she left gave maths lessons to younger children.

She moved to the National School, Southwell, and then attended Miller’s Secretarial College, Nottingham.

Miss Harrison’s first job was at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, before she moved to the Civil Service as a junior clerk.

During the second world war she served with the Auxiliary Territorial Service as a secretary to senior officers.

Her finance, Mr Colin Leith, a navigator in a Lancaster bomber, was killed when his plane was shot down just a few days before the end of the conflict.

After the war, Miss Harrison returned to Southwell and worked for Southwell Rural District Council. She was then a senior administrator at Newark Hospital.

She cared for the 200-year-old Bramley apple tree after buying Bramley Tree Cottage, a property next to her family home. When she sold the cottage, Miss Harrison retained ownership of the tree to ensure its survival.

She welcomed people from all over the world to see the tree. One of her most recent visitors was former MP Mr Michael Portillo.

Miss Harrison was a founder of the RSPCA Southwell Auxillary, a committee member of Southwell Probus Club and served on Southwell Parish Council. She was also involved in the Easthorpe Common Lands Foundation, a trust set up for the benefit of the Easthorpe community.

She leaves two nephews and a niece.

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