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Bere Apple Fest 2014: Report and Pics; Wash-up


 Yet again the sun shone on Bere Ferrers on Saturday for the 12th Bere Apple Fest, after a night of heavy rain and a chilly morning. There was a shortage of apples this year because most trees dropped their apples about four weeks ago, but a ‘scrumping’ raid by Will and some of the boys managed to raise a trailer-load of fruit.

Visitors were arriving before one o’clock, as Simon Thompson, Head Chef at the barn Restaurant, Cotehele, was still judging the 23 pies in the baking competition.

Chairman Brian Lamb read a good luck message from two of our friends in Canada, Melody and Joe Gilling, before introducing local councillor and author Ted Sherrell, our guest VIP. After a short speech, Ted declared the Apple Fest open by pressing the start button on the apple press. He then signed copies of his books about local life.

The Tavy & Tamar Apple Group were delighted to welcome Mary Martin and James Evans. 35 years ago they realised that our local apples and cherries were rapidly disappearing. Between them, Mary, an artist, and James, an engineer, rescued many of them – finding, identifying and grafting them. They set up the ‘mother orchard’ at Cotehele. Now they have published a Pomona – a book about apples – and it is, literally, the fruit of their labours.

All the usual attractions were on display, though we did miss the Dartmoor Border Morris who were unable to attend this year and delight us with their dancing. However, there were two additions this year: Mary Sargeant demonstrated scything in the orchard and Graham Reed brought his mobile glassblowing kit and showed his remarkable skills. The press worked most of the afternoon, though there were temporary pauses when apples ran out.

Just before the amazing Grand Raffle was drawn, local group Ferrers Reel entertained the crowds. The Fest finished at 5pm, just as the sun was dropping behind clouds and the breeze grew chill. Another successful year – thanks go to all our visitors and the guest attractions who made the day such a success!

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Minutes of the  Meeting of the Tavy and Tamar Apple Group, October 20th 2014 at The Olde Plough, Bere Ferrers

Present: Brian Lamb in the chair, Bev Slaughter, Richard and Joyce Peden, Will Spearing, Colin Trier, Peter and Margaret Nicholson, Patrick Waterfield,, Alison Howes, Nick Lloyd, David Williams, Clive Charlton, Peter and Anne Crozier

Apologies: Robert Mackintosh Smith, Frances and Peter Gorringe, Steve and Dee Rickhards, James Burton, Joe Gilling, Karen Auborn

Comments from the teams involved at the Apple Fest were noted.

Apple Pie Competition  Karen was delighted with the judge, who was extremely interested in all aspects of the afternoon. The judge was very thorough, which may have caused some delay in opening the Hazel Room.

Catering  Joyce thanked all those who had helped in the kitchen during the afternoon.  Teas and pasties were much appreciated by teams. Border Morris were not able to attend. More help in supplying cakes next year would be appreciated. Once again, thanks were expressed to Barry and Jean for their help. Barry has offered to run a Barbeque next year if needed.

It was suggested that we perhaps use local producers to sell pasteurised juice; it was pointed out that Derek Schofield has supported the group since its inception with a quality product.

Publicity Brian thanked Bev for his hard work in all publicity.  The PA system worked well from its new position.

Identification  Richard was happy that the new team worked well.

Apple Shy  It was suggested that more interest needs to be provided on the slope by the shy.  Shy is much enjoyed by children.

New press Colin and Clive reported that the new press was remarkably efficient and that children were still able to be involved. Several small batches of pressing came in late after the press had been cleaned; need to tighten this up next year.

Main Press It was noted that many people brought apples but no containers for their juice, others brought no apples but wished to purchase quantities of juice! The trailer-load of apples was not sufficient to needs.

Apple Fest Accounts

Will reported that a profit of £572.52 was made, though overall income was slightly down from the previous year. It was noted that other events in the area meant a slightly smaller number of attendees.  Brian congratulated Steve and Dee for a successful raffle which netted a profit of £251.

 Donations to be sent to……

 Devon Air Ambulance, Youth2Youth and the local Bere Foodbank.

 Next year’s Fest will be on Saturday 3rd October.

 There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed.