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Marking the memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a minute’s silence was held at our Family Open Day at the weekend.

Visitors also left their messages on a special memory apple tree dedicated to the late Queen Elizabeth.

“As we all come to terms with the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we decided that our best way of recognising the remarkable reign of our Sovereign would be to hold the Open Day in her memory, giving people the opportunity to come together as a community, leave messages on our memory tree, and have time for quiet contemplation in a minute’s silence, ” said Martin Thatcher, our fourth generation cider maker.

This was our first open day since 2019, having been postponed last year due to the Pandemic. Opening the gates of Myrtle Farm for people to see behind the scenes, thousands visited throughout the day.

In a first for the Open Day, the Thatchers Music Stage saw stunning performances from local acts including Ali Sparey; Senna Weeks and Olly Martin, set against the beautiful back drop of the Railway Inn.

With local craft and produce stalls, as well as sports activities and local community groups, visitors had plenty to keep them entertained. And you couldn’t go far without reminders of our farming heritage.

For the hundreds of people interested in the orchards, there were guided trailer tours, with our farm team on hand to answer questions about the growing of apples. It’s currently harvest time, and the orchards are laden with apples, with trailer loads arriving at Myrtle Farm each day for pressing.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Thatchers Open Day without a Cider Tasting marquee. Our range of ciders – including our new Blood Orange Cider – were on hand for people to try.
Always one of the most popular tours is showing people behind the scenes where we package our ciders. The Jubilee Building (named after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee) is home to our canning line, which can fill a whopping 30,000 cans an hour! Also in the Jubilee Building is the kegging line – filling some 6,500 kegs during the busy summer months.

Charity collections were made in support of Weston Hospicecare, and The Thatchers Foundation.

Martin Thatcher added, “It’s always a real delight to open up the gates of Myrtle Farm to visitors, and although we’ve done so in exceptional circumstances this year, we hope very much that we have been able to provide an opportunity for people to come together and share memories.

“Thank you to everyone who was able to join us – and we look forward to seeing everyone again in two years’ time!”

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Thatchers Cider Company Ltd, Myrtle Farm, Sandford, Somerset, BS25 5RA