The New Forest Cider pressing weekend is a well kept secret held on their cider farm at Burley. A case of cider meets steam with some added wood. Please excuse the indulgent photos and as I am still trying to recover I will largely let them speak for themselves.
Squeezed into the small field behind the farm shop were at least 5 cider presses and scratters (the mills for pulping the apples) mainly run by steam. The smell of apples already fermenting was in the air. This fantastic mill featured a steam driven scratter and a steam driven press on either side.
On the greenwood front we put on a good show. Peter Lane and his assistant Peter were rattling off hurdles. Hurdling goes back in Peter’s family for generations, he has a fascinating knowledge of how and when each copse was cut and seems to operate as much by feel as he rives the rods.
Rod Poynting also brought a down sized display. Treadle lathes are his speciality, still foot powered but with the work piece continually rotating they are the direct ancestor of today’s powered lathes. Rod also displayed his superb ash chair which won an award as last week’s Cranborne Chase woodfair.
Back to the cider. This outfit came from North Somerset (Cleveland) and their pressing from last year won the cider tasting contest on the Saturday evening. Prizes awarded by Rosie, of ‘Cider by Rosie’ fame. Over the years Rosie’s Dorset cider is responsible for a number of my friends falling down events. Needless to say I don’t remember much of the evening which was a cidermakers paradise.
Despite the distractions I managed to make a couple of rakes. I hadn’t intended to sell my first rake but Simon persuaded me to part with it for raking flax on their farm in Gloucestershire – after extracting a promise of a lifetime guarantee. Thats the trouble with cider.
The Apres-show. You may have noticed the number of living wagons in the photos, a feature of the show. So leisurely was the pace that it was quite hard to drag myself away and just for once I was not the last to leave. That would have been hard. A big thank you for Chris, whose wonderful wagon this is, for inviting to this gem of a show and to Peter Jameson for his endless advice and wisdom….and on the rakes. Provided I recover by next year I will be back.