A gentle portrait of Frank Naish, (86), possibly the world’s oldest cider maker, on his farm in Somerset, with helper Paul Chant.

Collecting apples on a frosty morning in November 2010, Frank continues a life-long devotion to the artisan way of producing cider, which he did with his brother Harold until his death in 2005. Since then, Paul has worked with Frank, allowing him to continue his passion well into old age. As Frank says, it’s hard work and plenty of fresh air that keeps him going.

11 Comments

  1. Paul Chant

    Frosty morning … it was about minus 7 and the apple picking machine was froze solid, almost abandoned it that day … but at least we have got a machine now, it was not so long ago that we where there all day right up until darkness picking apples up by hand, briers, thorns, stinging nettles, whopsys (wasps) and in all whether conditions, in the rain we would put an apple bag over our head and drape it down over our backs! after a while your back would get used to the intense pain, but when you went to get up at the end of the day, your back would stay bent over until you went through the pain thresh hold again!
    And in the frost or light snow, I could almost cry with the stinging pain, took most of the morning until your hands would warm up naturally, but your toes remained frozen, we would often get a touch of frost bite, well I still do even with the apple picking machine!
    Would be better with a commercial ride on one.
    Thank you Graham, yes indeed you are like a ghost we never hardly knew you where there and everything you filmed or photographed was natural, just like the cider.
    Kind Regards,
    Paul Chant (Chant Cider)

  2. Jim Callender

    Hi Paul, that really paints a picture .. thanks for taking the time to comment on the real cider community!

  3. Paul Chant

    Hello Jim,
    no problem … glad you enjoyed it…
    Kind Regards,
    Paul.

  4. Paul Chant

    Hello again Jim,
    I must say that the cider making by Frank Naish, should be By Graham Trott, he have been following us the past 9 years since I have been going to Naishs and well before that! Graham have been recording Naishs Cider for longer!
    There are two cider company’s there, I pay a pepper corn rent, I help Frank make his cider up first, then he help me, we both made up our exception on 1500 Gallons last year counting my Perry, this is to be bag in box tomorrow and launched after a 3 year process, we do everything traditional and how it was done in the days of past.
    The Perry is called LADY “J” after my sweet hart Jacqueline, its made from we believe the last Belle de Jersey tree left in the West, its very rare, Oz Clark tasted my first Perry and endorsed it saying its fin Perry and suggested a marketing tactic, but unfortunately, I am wholesale and can only sell a minimum of 4 ½ Gallons a time! there is only about 40 Gallons per year and I don’t think that the Customs would mind me selling it in 20 Lt. bag in boxes.
    And of course theirs my brand of Chant Cider “BADGES SPIT” which is now gathering a following, Bristol Cider Shop have customers with a keen following.
    We have just had some purchased for shipment to Tasmania, Australia!
    We have several spices of unrecorded tress, grown from pip over the past 100 years or so, some very rare ones which luckily I have grafted on to selected root stock in my own garden, several being the only survivors, it seems as though everyone has passed us by when it comes to cataloguing! there are 3 types of Glastonbury apple, Glastonbury Green, Glastonbury Jersey (which makes good root stock) and the more well known Glastonbury Port Wine, which I have started grafting for the next generation, they are bush and require a long stock root!
    There is so much information there, its like a missing link to the past, which might be lost for ever, luckily I am absorbing it!
    Hope this have been of interest to you.
    Kind Regards,
    Paul.

  5.   Both Frank Naish and myself have been invited to attend the Royal Bath & West Show on the 1st June, Frank is to Judge the final winner for Dry Farmhouse Cider, this is a prestigious honour and now Frank has finally been excepted as a true Artisan of Cider Making Industry, this video will be shown at the show with kind permission from Graham Trott, photographer and friend.

  6. Jiseys

    Wow!  What a wonderful gentleman – and a master at his craft.  Brilliant short film.

  7. Cathyjoy

    I used to visit Mr Naish’s farm in pilton his cider is legendary a guy up on the Tor told me about him.

  8. Russellrustarkennels

    Hi Paul I stumbled on your website .well done visit me sometime at Friggle Street .Cheers Paul Russell .

  9. ChantCider

    As you can imagine .. we are just starting to go flat out .. but very poor apple crop this year .. the experts only talk about culinary fruit! .. as you know cider apples take a year off from time to time? cheers Paul Kindest Regards Paul.

  10. hi we are thinking of introducing rare bread apples to sheffields climate does anyone know a perfect rare bread apple for this climate that can be found easily and cheaply thanks

  11. Paul Chant

    Hello Samuel, I am grafting on as many rare apples as I can, don’t know much about the climate with them, but you have got apple growers in Scotland, maybe you should look up some of them?
    I would of thought something which don’t mind the frost so much… I will give it some thought … happy hunting, [email protected] :)

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