SED Code: So7.

FB, Male, aged 65.




Date: 00-07-56

Interviewer: SE

Leeds Code Number: CN S124

Time: 9:50


FB: Think so.

SE: Aye.

JTW: Did they make a lot of cider on the farms then?

FB: Oh yes. Fill every barrel they could – – get hold – – get their – – lay their hands on, you know.

SE: Well. It would take a fair amount of labour just making the cider, wouldn’t it?

FB No, no, no. That’d be done of a good old wet day, when it was raining, you see, and you couldn’t do much else.

FB: If it was – – If the apples was in the chamber, or pulled in, or anything, we boys used to have to haul them in, of course.

SE: Hm.

FB: But I suppose, as things went on, well then, these factories got a bit bigger, and they offered such an enormous price for the apples, er, well, er they been up to fourteen pound a ton, you know.

SE Hm.

FB The brew – – er, these brewers’d give fourteen pound a ton.

FB: Well, farmer wadn’t going make cider and give it to his men then for – – If he could make fourteen pound ton of his – – Hundreds of pounds for a orchard of apples, you see.

SE: Hm.

FB: Well then, when there was a slump, then er, sooner than they’d pay to have them picked up, they’d turn sheep in to eat them now.

SE: Hm.

FB: Used to see – – see – – beautiful on – – only this last year, it was nothing to see sheep in the orchards eating beautiful – – lovely fruit.

SE: Hm.

FB: Shame you know.

SE: Hm.

FB: Aye. I had a orchard, and a bit of ground for – – as I say, from nineteen fourteen till I finished with the coal, I had a little – – little – – holding. And I used to make some beautiful cider.

SE: Did you?

FB: Oh ho. I got the barrels up there now. Some of ’em.

FB: Yes, and we used to drink it too.

SE: Hm.

FB: Oh. Oh Lord. Yeah. Yes. You’d bring the ham in on the table, cured ham about twenty-three or four pound, you know, and the carving knife aside of him, and three or four great brown jugs of cider. You were strong as lions.

SE: Hm.

FB: Oh. But as I say they – – Everything have altered, see. Used to – – used to – – enjoy it to make the – – Er, that’s the job I ‘ve done, put up – – put up – – what we call the cider-cheese.

SE: Hm.

FB: And, er, used straw, you see.

SE: Hm. How do you do this? I’ve never seen it. I’m not from round here.

FB: No. You got a frame, you see. You got your dish. What we call our dish. And – – and – – the hatch up over for pressing, of course, and you wind that one up first, and you – – and then you got your mill, and you want to get a couple of good old strong boys, and turn the mill.

FB: Keep him going, you know. If you hear them steady up a bit, you want to shout to them, “Anybody want a drink?” Keep the old mill going, you know. Do it night-times. We do it out there. And er, plenty of cider to drink while them putting en up, of course. Smoke, and a good old chat. Oh yes.

FB: They had the frame put up uh – – What we call a cheese to a time, you see. Put up and then tuck in, pull up your frame, and then when you finished up the top, there’s – – there’s – – your – – there’s your – – cider-cheese all put up, all in cakes like.

SE: Hm.

FB: Well then, er, put on the hatch, and – – and – – give him a little – – just what we used to say those days, “Well, we ‘ll give en a little squat tonight.”

FB: Not too much, see, else he’d ((*pooch)) out sort of business, because that’s all soft, you know.

SE: Hm.

FB: Then it would run out in the old vat, my boys. Oh, we’ve put up cheeses afore now, and – – and and – – we ‘ve runned, er – – Oh, a good thirty forty gallon out of him, er, er, before we think about – – That’s his first running, you know.

SE: Hm.

FB: Then the next morning, you press en down so tight as you can, and up with your hatch, and then shear en round with – – cut en round and what you cut off, put on top, then keep cutting off and put on top, and – –

SE: Hm.

FB: Until there isn’t very much left, till – – You press until isn’t very much cider left in him.

JTW: And what ‘s that called that you’ve got left?

FB: That’s er – – Well, that’s the pommy, you see.

SE: And which is the best cider? The first run or – –

FB: Oh, well, no, I don’t know as – – I don’t know as – – er – – It is all put into a vat, you see, it is all – – you see, they d- – – wouldn’t think of drinking of it until it is all put in – – It is all goes through a strainer – –

SE: Hm.

FB: See, all – – A sieve, we call it like.

FB: And then er into a big vat, and then it is left there to – – Uh you get a head on it. All the filth and all (( )) stuff comes up on the top, work, you see, and then you skim that off, and then you put it in your barrels.

SE: Hm.

FB: And you mustn’t cork it down till it do finish singing.

SE: Hm.

FB: And you hear the sing, you know, else if you did, er he ‘d blow your barrel and your cork, all the lot. He’d soon be gone. Oh, strong stuff it was those days, but there – – there – – isn’t hardly any cider drinkers now, you see.


Transcription by Juhani Klemola and Mark Jones, 1999 See and