Rose, Cuthbert (b.1907) (part 2)

Cuthbert Rose of Cocklake, Wedmore produced traditional cider for most of the last century.


In this recording Cuthbert Rose describes the mill he used to grind up the apples before they were pressed. The Day Iron Foundry in nearby Mark made the mill. The foundry produced a variety of agricultural implements, some of which are on display at the Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury.


Mr Rose used wooden shovels to shovel out the apple pomace from the mill into the cider press. Wooden shovels were used because metal shovels would taint and even poison the cider. It took two men to turn the wheels of the mill.

A cider mill made by the Day Foundry in Mark, 1867. A cider mill made by the Day Foundry in Mark, 1867.
Sound File
Listen to Cuthbert Rose (part 2) - 1.72MB Duration 3:44 min.

PL: Could you tell me please some of the equipment you use now for making cider?


CR: As far as the process is concerned, I suppose you could say that basically it consists of two main items - one is the cider mill through which the apples are crushed. When they are crushed it means they are broken but not to the extent of the juice to any extent is pushed out of the apple. It breaks the apple up.


The traditional cider mills that we use here, and were generally used throughout this part of Somerset, was the Day Cider Mill made at the Day Foundry at Mark. And there you had two iron spiked rollers at the top through which, the apples having been put into a hopper above the rollers, the apples fell down through the hopper between these two iron spiked rollers, which were about six inches in diameter with a spike on one roller and a corresponding indentation in the roller opposite.


So the apple fell through there and that broke it up. Immediately below that were two stone rollers, which I assume were probably granite, about eight inches diameter. Those rollers were so adjusted with a comparatively narrow gap between them so that the apple once it had been broken up with the spike rollers would then pass through the stone rollers. That would squeeze it again - break it up further. The broken apple would then fall down below the stone rollers into the wooden trow and at that point we would term it apple pomace.


Throughout that process there is a limited amount of juice that comes out. There is a certain amount of juice. The pomace drops down into a long wooden trough underneath the mill, and from there it is shovelled out. We use large wooden shovels. A shovel full of the pomace is quite heavy - probably weighs up to about twenty-eight pounds. The amount of juice that comes out during the process of putting the apples through the mill is no more than can be picked up in the shovel with the pomace.


So that you have got your mill as the first fundamental piece of equipment. The old Day Mills were originally made to be turned by hand. Each side of the mill was a large wheel about four to five feet diameter; on each wheel was a handle. You had a man on each side of the mill. The handles were placed hundred and eighty degrees in relative position, so that when one man had his handle at the top, the other at the bottom. The two men would grind like that and grind up the apples.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Philippa Legg on 11th May 1983. Photograph ©SRLM. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre.