Saturday 17th September 2011, 12.00 pm
F.W. Harvey brought national attention to the apple and pear orchards of his native Minsterworth and the traditional cider makers in the Forest of Dean through his much loved poetry and BBC broadcasts. One of his poems was John Helps an ode to a local cider maker written in the local dialect, the first verse reads:
John Helps a wer an Honest mon;
The perry that a made
Wer crunched vrom purs as honest
As ever tree displayed
The F.W. Harvey Society, as part of their celebration of poems about cider and perry visited the cider press of Ray Tosh to learn about how cider is made today using some of the traditional skills and knowledge. Ray Tosh, renowned for his brew, Tosh’s Tipple, served up samples and answered many questions about his business.
David Price the landlord of the Railway Inn, Newnham Provided a ploughman’s lunch. This was followed by some poetry: Steve Cooper reciting John Helps and a very entertaining performance from Dave Harvey, retired local freeminer, who told a few stories and recited some of his own verse. Twenty-five members of the Society enjoyed the afternoon high on Pleasant Style, Littledean, looking across a glorious view of the Severn Valley that was so often the inspiration to F.W. Harvey, Ivor Gurney and Herbert Howells.
All who attended thoroughly enjoyed the visit.