Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Frank Naish

Right - quickest post EVER because I have to nip out shortly to photograph George Osbournes visit to Gaymers Cider in which, the day before the country gets to vote on AV, he will want to point out how nice the Conservative party are for abolishing Labours Cider tax before it got a chance to kick in...

Cider is full of characters and one of the oldest I have met is the lovely Frank Naish. In recent times he has had the attention of the cider world because someone somewhere dubbed him 'Britains oldest cidermaker'. It may be true and as I can't see anyone protesting, I'll go along with that. Apparently, at the ripe old age of 86+,  he still makes the annual walk a few miles down the road to the Glastonbury Festival site to deliver a gallon of his cider to the team manning the most revered meeting spot on site for us Sumortūnsǣte - the magnificent and ever loving Cider Bus (more on that another day...). If you ever want to find a friend from Somerset, start looking there!

He makes cider traditionally from apples in his own orchards, how much I am unsure of, but on the day I rolled up on his doorstep unannounced he did me the courtesy of his time, a glass of cider, a smile and a loud chat while I grabbed a few quick portraits. He was patiently fixing a clock in his kitchen when I arrived, so I didn't want to take up any more time than necessary. I'd been trying for sometime to get in touch with him to arrange a time to do it, but discovered that he is so deaf he can't hear the phone these days. Also, when in conversation, you have to shout loudly at him, which seems really strange when a kind faced man stares back at you with a gentle smile. I didn't get used to it.

We went out to the barn to see the cider that his fermenting. You can see the yeast head worming out of the barrels in some photos.We chatted about the Oz & James program he was featured in and how he had to take the sword from the oafish one of the lively duo during filming.

Anyway - here he is.


  1. Hi Bill

    Great shots as ever! Unless there's some link between hearing loss and cider, looks like it's not done Frank any harm!


  2. Ha! you're doing something right... I did a book about cider for CAMRA a few years ago (I know, what do CAMRA know about cider etc etc), and one of the people who were supposed to be in the book (alongside Temperley/Wilkins etc ) was Mr Naish... I called him, was very polite etc and told him what was involved, and all he could say was 'how much will you pay me'!! I gave up... anyway, nice pics! Mark