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.


  1. Nice work Bill - thank you. Didn't get much of a chance myself, so glad you recorded the event.
    Graham Trott

  2. Thank you so much Bill for your fantastic images of Franks farewell celebration, It will certainly be a day of days to remember for ever, you must come and see Franks cider house and sample his cider strait from the barrel

  3. My condolences to Paul and everyone else close to Frank. The world lost a great cider maker, and they lost a great friend.

  4. A beautiful human who touched the lives of so many. May you forever be sipping cider.

  5. This is an incredible documentation of a sad moment. Beautiful pictures. And what an incredible man Frank must have been. RIP.