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Apple Fest 2015 Report and Pictures


The only cloud in the sky on Saturday 3rd October was England’s departure from the Rugby World Cup. In Bere Ferrers, however, the 14th Bere Apple Fest took place in warm sunshine again. Due to extensive advertising on the railway and reports on Radio Devon and local publications, a large crowd from far and wide gathered in the church hall and its environs to enjoy the annual festival of all things apple!

The day began in the Hazel Room with Karen Auborn, Fran Gorringe and the judging of the apple pies by Seth and Sally Robertson from Robertson’s Restaurant in Tavistock, making a welcome return to the Fest. The standard of pies was excellent and the pair had a tough job picking the winners. They were: 5-8 years, Skyla Smith; 9-11 years, Rose Kushnirov; and Adults, Kayleigh Smith, who won the top prize of a voucher for meals at the popular restaurant.

Meanwhile, outside the hall, the crusher and press were working at full stretch in the hot sunshine pressing the huge amount of apples brought this year – and still they came! After a shortage last year (and resorting to scrumping raids to get enough fruit) this year there was a glut, with many apples still on the trees. The pressing team of Peter Crozier, Will Spearing, Rob Smith, Colin Trier, Paul Willmott and Adam Smith worked tirelessly to produce gallons of juice. Patrick Waterfield, with help from Niamh Mugridge Guest, was doing a roaring trade selling the juice.

For the second year running Graham Reed, our local glassblower, was hard at work, not only demonstrating his craft, but supervising the new Largest Apple competition, which entailed floating each apple in water and measuring the displacement. The winner, with an unbelievably gigantic apple, was Fran Gorringe.

Woodturner Andy Morton was in his usual spot with his ‘ancient’ foot-driven lathe, demonstrating how to turn chair legs. This always draws a large crowd! Mick Godfrey was nearby, showing his rural craft skills for making tools.

Endsleigh Nurseries from Milton Abbott were on hand as usual with a host of fruit trees and advice on grafting.

For the children there were several competitions inside the hall, plus an apple shy and apple bobbing outside, ably run by Mary Sargeant, Jane Swann and Peter Nicholson.

Another new feature this year was Ann Crozier explaining how to make cider from apple juice and the pasteurising process, which drew a lot of attention.

Entertainment was provided in the hall by local folk band Ferrers Reel, while outside our old friends Dartmoor Border Morris danced for the appreciative crowd, with some visitors joining in.

For those people wanting to know how to prune their trees, Charles Staniland took them to the North Orchard, where he described how to see the various yearly growth on a tree and how to best prune it.

In the hustle and bustle of the hall, amongst all the various competitions going on, were the Ladies of the W.I. with numerous apple delights, Frances Howard and Richard Peden were kept busy identifying visitors’ apples, ably assisted by James Evans and Mary Martin. They were selling autographed copies of their book ‘Cornish Pomona’, a study of Cornish apples. Local beekeeper Alison Howes gave advice on beekeeping, with a display of her famous honey.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Joyce Peden and her team of ladies, including Jean, Pam, Mary and Margaret, served the most delicious teas.

On the door, hoping not to miss anyone coming in, were Steve and Dee Rickhards who were running the Grand Raffle in their expert way, not an easy task with the number of raffle tickets involved. At the end of the event, after the competition prizes were presented, the Grand Raffle was drawn, with a number of fantastic prizes available. The first prize, a pair of return railway tickets to anywhere on the GWR network, was won by Lesley Smith.

The Master of the Apples, doing the task for the first time and in an admirable fashion, was Ian Swann.

Chair of the Apple Fest, Brian Lamb, thanked the whole of the organising team and the exhibitors for making the Apple Fest such a success.

I apologise to anyone I have missed by name in this report. Next year’s Apple Fest will be on Saturday 1st October.



 largest apple lathe lathe andy

longest mick morris

patrick picking pie

press pruning raffle shy tasting

winning  reel15

The date for Apple Fest 2016 is Saturday 1st October, so put this in your diary, iPhone, iPad, etc (other devices are available!) so that you don't miss it!