History Of Blossom Time
HISTORY OF THE RESTORED 1957 APPLE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL PLATE – "BLOSSOM TIME CHINA" BY ROYAL ALBERT – DESIGNED BY G. R. PALMETER
Photo courtesy of Jason Calnen of Light & Lens Photography
"On a spring morning in 1933, G. R. Palmeter left a meeting of the Apple Blossom Committee at the Cornwallis Inn to purchase china from a representative of the Royal Albert China of England. While there, he asked the salesman about creating a pattern called "Blossom Time", to tie in with the Apple Blossom Festival. A design was submitted and the factory got to work on it.
The design is an actual picture of the Ralph Eaton farm, in the Annapolis Valley - the apple trees were at the height of bloom, and this worked out ideally, from the factory standpoint.
The result was "BLOSSOM TIME CHINA", which is still in great demand all over the world, even as far as Japan – this over a period of sixty years.
The original shape of the plate was square and the factory later tried a round one but it was not well received. The mugs have changed shape and the bowl and milk pitcher have been discontinued. Other pieces i.e. a trivet have recently been added."
The above it the history of the "BLOSSOM TIME CHINA" as written by G. R. Palmeter he, signed and dated this document June 11, 1992, and it is located in the Apple Blossom Festival archives situate at the Kings County Museum in Kentville.
In 1957, the Village of Kingston commissioned E. R. McMaster & Sons Limited to make an oversized "Blossom Time Plate" for use as a backdrop on their Princess float in the Apple Blossom Festival parade that year. (The person employed at the mill who did the actual production of the plate will be in attendance at the reception on February 5 – his name is Blake Winott). When the Village of Kingston was through with the "Plate" they gave it to G. R. Palmeter. G. R. Palmeter owned Palmeters Jewellery Ltd., and the plate was used as a roadside sign in front of this store. Mr. Palmeter eventually sold the property, and Evergreen Nursing Home is now at this location.
The plate eventually (being left outside and no upkeep being done) deteriorated over time. Ray Savage, now current Past President, then President of the Apple Blossom Festival, rescued the plate the day before it was to be destroyed, from Norma Banks – a daughter of the family who purchased the property from Mr. Palmeter. Ray brought it home and dried it out. After having the plate in his garage for a couple of years, he wanted to get it restored for the upcoming 75th Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival. He contacted Wendy Elliott of the Kentville Advertiser to help him get more information on the plate, and perhaps help with direction in having the plate restored. She was a tremendous help to Ray and directed him to the Annapolis Valley Decorative Artists, and in particular, Crystal Maxner, and also Doug Morse of Grand Pre, as this is his expertise. Everyone was excited by the project. But what to do with the plate after it is restored? After much consideration and discussion within the community, Ray decided that he would ask the White Family Funeral Home in Kentville about this project. He met with the Whites' and they agreed to look after the commissioning of the plate's restoration, and they in turn are to be the keepers of the plate. The plan was to have the plate as the centrepiece of the 75th former Queens' float in this year's parade but due to its age and the delicate nature of the plate this was not done.
The White Family Funeral Home has an extensive collection of the "Blossom Time" china – some collected by the family, and the community has donated other pieces. This china is used at their receptions.
As a footnote to Mr. Palmeter's write-up on the "Blossom Time china" – the Royal Albert Company discontinued making the Blossom Time china in 2001. There are several website, which have it for sale, and there are several antique dealers in the Valley who sell it – one in particular is
Another interesting note is that in 1933 when the china was first produced you could buy a cup and saucer for 90 cents; the teapot was sold for $4. When it was discontinued in 2001 the cup and saucer sold for $56, and the teapot sold for $210.
Mr. Palmeter who was the 2nd president of the Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival passed away in March of 1995 – he was 94 years old.