Sheppy, Richard (b.1927)

Richard Sheppy was born at Three Bridges Farm at Bradford-on-Tone.  His father was engaged in mixed farming and then cattle farming, until he was advised that his farm was ideal for growing quality cider apples.


He won prizes for his cider in various shows, and by the 1920s he decided to concentrate on developing the cider business, which was a successful firm by the time Richard inherited it. The difficulties encountered in producing cider has necessitated the development of a museum at the farm as an extension of the business.

Richard Sheppy of Bradford-on-Tone, cider-maker. Richard Sheppy of Bradford-on-Tone, cider-maker.
Sound File
Listen to Richard Sheppy - 1.22MB Duration 3:21 min.

AH: Is this an area which is good for growing cider apples?


RS: Yes, but there’s not many growing them these days.


AH: No, I know, but I’m talking about, you know, when your father died.  They were still being grown in the 1950s, weren’t they, the orchards?


RS: Oh yes, oh yes, they were back in '48.  They were.  South Petherton was a strong area, around Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet there was a very strong area.  This was a not such a strong area, but there were some good orchards around here.  Trull, for instance, was wonderful land for producing apples, and this area on the south side of the A38 was a very strong, or should we say did produce high quality fruit.


It’s, most of the cider these days is produced and bottled, and obviously sold in half-litre upwards, whereas in the olden days most of the cider was produced and put in wooden casks and sold as a draught type cider.  But that is tending to die out.  In, infact it started dying out in the what, middle, late '50s.  And I suppose one would say these days, the cider industry as a whole tends to bottle their cider and sell it in that form, whereas I suppose you could say Thatcher’s would sell possibly quite a lot of cider draught-wise through outlets associated with Bristol and Bath or in that area.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Ann Heeley in 2003. Photograph ©SRLM. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre.