Michael Burton is in a pickle again. He always is at this time of year - selling his pickled shallots in aid of the annual Poppy Appeal.
It started when he had a lot of shallots in his large garden at Eye. Although he has now moved back to Diss, he carries on selling to his regulars who buy as many jars as he can fill.
He has 70 more at £1 a jar ready to go this year and over the years has sold more than 3000. Even though the tradition of cold meat and pickles for dinner the day after the Sunday roast has largely died out, demand for his shallots is still strong.
“Just malt vinegar. No spices and no brown sugar,” is his secret.
Many of his customers come from the Royal British Legion at Stradbroke. He was sent by the legion county committee to help to save the branch, which now has 55 members, and his been chairman for 34 years. “But I am 84 now and hope someone will take over this year,” he said.
Mr Burton became a staunch legion member after spending his National Service with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a dog handler guarding military installations in Hong Kong. As well as his shallots, he sells poppies, badges and wreaths in aid of the legion’s biggest fund-raiser, which officially launches tomorrow (Saturday).