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May 20, 2016 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley cheese making in 1960

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John Pigg senior (farm manager) & Bert White (in wellies) milking

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Cows going into the dairy (central building of Apley Farm Shop’s courtyard) to be milked. They’re entering by the main entrance, nearest the farm shop. 

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Penny aged 19 (born 1945, taken 1964) doing an acidity test on the cheese

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The milking pens (abreast pens) in the dairy. The cows’ milk production was measured weekly using the dials above the pens. 

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Cooling machine

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The steriliser, operated by a Mrs Morgan (aged c.65 in 1960)

I love those days when I get a surprise ‘phone call or visit from someone with a special Apley Estate story to recount or memories & photos to share. Earlier this week, we had one of those days when Penny Froud (nee Warner) dropped in to the farm shop for her first time & allowed us to take copies of these wonderful photos taken during her training year at Apley. In some of the photos, it’s very easy to recognise the courtyard & cafe windows.

Some of the cheese making equipment (such as the water boiler & the settling tank) were still in the derelict barns when Gavin first began developing the farm shop.

The separator was used to separate the whey & make whey butter (by Mrs Bert White), which was cheaper & used mainly for cooking. Curds make the cheese & whey is drained off via pipes.  Ordinary butter is made from full fat milk which has had its cream separated off.

Penny lodged in Windmill Road with the Watson family. Robin Watson was the dairy man at Astol Farm (across the fields from what is now Aple Farm Shop) & he milked the cows with Bert White.

Penny kept a farm diary for her 2 year course at Seale Hayne agricultural college in Devon where she gained a National Diploma in Dairying NDD. This was her practical year Sept 1963 to July 1964 – didn’t overlap with Rosemary White but did overlap with Ann Pigg. She’s come to Apley as her mother knew Mrs Roney-Dougal, wife of the land agent. She still has the names of the cows of the Apley herd of dairy shorthorns, which Lady, Serafina, Daisy, Olive & Meg.

The extra breeze-block dairy which was added onto the brick-built central dairy, was demolished right at the start of the project to redevelop the barns into Apley Farm Shop.

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