Wilkins Cider Farm - By Su Barclay

AS A PHOTOGRAPHER, I’m always in search of something a little different for my backdrops. I love real characters, history and tradition, so when I found out about a chap who owns a cider farm using traditional methods with some fairly antiquated looking machinery – all my prayers had been answered.

The point is, the owner Roger Wilkins is the real deal, and the main reason for doing my shoot here. He is charming, and the loveliest of farmers, with ruddy cheeks and a warm smile, and he’s been drinking cider since he was just five years old!

Roger managed to keep his spit and sawdust farm in Mudgely under the radar for a quarter century or so, then Jamie Oliver came along and did his ‘unearthing the artisan thing’, and there’s been a stream of well-heeled food-heads rocking up to sample his apple brew ever since.

Not that Roger’s complaining, well, not about that anyway. He hasn’t changed the premises to suit the newly urbanite clientele either. You’ll find Wilkins Cider Farm at the end of a long, winding, muddy lane. Turn into a scrubby farmyard with chickens scuttling about and ancient looking machinery dotted here and there and yes, you’ve arrived.  Continues in issue 35...