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Advice to cheesemakers

Wednesday 18 July, 2018, by Karen Griffiths

It’s already clear from our research that people have always had quite strong opinions about how to make the best cheese and butter in Wensleydale. We were shown this little snippet of advice from the Victorian vicar of Askrigg last week:
An image of the Askrigg Parish Magazine
It comes from the delightfully named ‘Dawn of Day’ the Askrigg Parish Magazine and dates to September 1894. The author refers to a recent cheese competition:
“At the recent Show of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, held at Beverley, Mrs Willis, of Carperby, suceeded in carrying off four out of five prizes offered for Wensleydale Cheeses, her exhibits being placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th; while Mrs Brown, of Marske, occupied the 4th place. I cannot help thinking it is a pity that our local cheese-makers do not more frequently compete at the Yorkshire and other good shows, as to do so is one of the best possible means of calling public attention to what is undoubtedly one of the most important industries of the district.”
We were pleased to see that at last week’s Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate, the Hawes Creamery carried off the top prize and many others besides. Read more here on the Wensleydale Creamery blog 
An image of the Wensleydale Creamery winning first prize at the Great Yorkshire Show cheese and dairy show
Another rather sternly-worded letter dating to the early 1930s has been copied to us. It was sent to a local newspaper following an article about cheese-making which clearly met with the correspondent’s disapproval. The author was in fact Margaret Hopper who we profiled in an earlier blog post. Her discussion on the correct use of bacterial starter cultures is fascinating. Many thanks to Janina Holubecki for sending it to us.
An image of a newspaper talking about cheese making in Wensleydale

Picture of Karen Griffiths

Karen Griffiths

Interpretation Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority


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