Friday, 13 December 2013

Funeral of a cidermaker.

Today we buried a legend.

Frank Edward James Naish (5th February 1924 - 29th November 2013) a gentle, quiet man and traditional cidermaker was laid to rest by his friends and family. The weather was pretty gloomy, heavy cloud setting a sombre mood. On the whole people were positive and its interesting how such occasions can bring the best out in us: there were as more smiles than tears which I'm sure would have pleased Frank. As Julian Temperley said - his death marks the end of an era. His respect of tradition and cidermaking philosophy made him the best kind of example of why cidermaking has been kept alive for centuries in Britain. Traditional farmers like Franks making traditional cider from local apples. It was said he was the oldest working cidermaker in the UK, possibly Europe (which may be true) if so, quote possibly the world?

It was suggested last week that I document Franks funeral, an idea that made me uneasy initially but after some thought, compelled me to do it. Its always difficult photographing an event where loved ones are emotionally charged and might not always understand why you should capture a moment, but as a friend Sean said afterwards: people might not like it at the time, but you can bet they'll appreciate it later. Actually, no-one seemed to mind and despite there being at least 6 professional photographers there (all because they wanted to be) it didn't feel too callous to document it. After all, its probably the best form of respects I can pay him.

Rest In Peace Frank.

Friday, 29 November 2013

RIP Frank

Goodbye Frank, you were the epitome of British cider and loved by many. 
GK Chesterton said cider was 'the wine they drink in Paradise', enjoy every drop!
Rest in peace sir.

Frank Naish
 (1924 - 2013)

Monday, 25 November 2013

Cider Days, Massachusetts, USA

The simple ideas are always the best ones, and Cider Days is no exception: its genius lying in its uncomplicated (but well organised) approach to a weekend celebrating cidermaking in traditional apple country. Its run and attended by some of the top US cidermakers but is so personable and un-industry it is cherished by everyone that goes.

Next year is the 20th annual meeting and I heartily recommend go and join in, celebrate with the best of people by drinking some of the nicest ciders the US has to offer. If you ever fancied a trip away to see New England in the autumn (it really is as stunning as its reputation) a visit that coincides with Cider Days is well worth planning.

I'm going to let the images do the talking because there are a lot of them (realistically, there are too many) but its a more effective way to convey the goings on and 'vibe' of Cider Days with a camera than it is with a keyboard.