HRA Apple Press Day 2016 – Report

Right now, I never want to see another apple.

A group of pickers of all ages, looking like a Pre-Raphaelite painting as they worked, relieved our garden of what must have been nearly a ton of apples, with no visible effect. Still they fall in their hundreds from trees that are self-destructing under the weight of their own fruit. Trailerload after trailerload were deposited at the Millennium Green, where – under the expert guidance of Chris Lindley – a veritable production line had been established.

Once again Mrs Weather had been kind to us. We debated the need for protective structures either for rain or sun, but the forecast was good and the day better. Yet again even blue skies and a temperate useable warmth made the day perfect for our task.

Garrick and Helen set up a comprehensive food table to fuel our efforts, with Garrick, as ever, manning the BBQ. Mark from The Crown and Punchbowl had kindly provided one hundred sausages and rolls, as well as lending us a couple of empty beer kegs to contain our juice once all the other containers had been filled, and joined us for most of the afternoon. And of course, no HRA summer event would be complete without Vee’s Teas, and Michael Harrison had ensured that all three registered Horningsea flags were flying.

Teams of helpers washed and quartered the apples, which were fed into Richard Holton’s amazing ‘scratter’ – a device like a food-processor on steroids that reduces the apples to a pleasing coleslaw-like mush. The press is then filled and appropriate galley-slaves used to turn the capstan until all the juice is extracted and all that remains is a cylindrical cake of pressings. Gallon after gallon was decanted into containers of all sorts.

Richard and Rae kindly brought a supply of their cider from previous years so that we could all taste the end product – and very good it was too, according to Andy Greed who downed a fair bit – on his own admission.

It was another truly great day in the Horningsea tradition. Social, industrious and humorous, with children pelting each other with the waste pressings whilst riding in the tractor-drawn trailers. It was pure Laurie Lee!


Richard Pleasants


Horningsea Residents Association.

September 2016

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