Bananas arrive in Thirsk

Category:  Civilian Life

Bananas arrive in Thirsk

Following Thirsk’s adoption of H.M.S. Arctic Ranger, the ship’s company sent a bunch of bananas to be distributed among the youngest children in the town – the under-fives. None of them had seen a banana before. The bananas arrived in 1943, long before the first official shipment to the UK in Christmas 1945 amid much press coverage – so Thirsk was privileged.

The photograph shows Mr Arthur Hollington, manager of the Golden Fleece Hotel in the Market Place, displaying the bananas before distributing them to the children. There is a note attached to the bananas which reads, “To the children of Thirsk from the Ship’s Company of the Arctic Ranger”. It is believed that the crew obtained the bananas while they were stationed in Gibraltar.

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A large queue formed outside the Golden Fleece as the children waited for the bananas to be distributed.

The crew of H.M.S. Arctic Ranger in Gibraltar, 1945.

Picture courtesy of Alan Collenette, whose father, Arthur Collenette, served aboard H.M.S. Arctic Ranger