The festival, held in Melplash for the first time, was a huge success. We needn't have worried about living up to the reputation of the acclaimed Powerstock Cider Festival. Nick Poole himself (creator of the Powerstock Cider Festival) was delighted that Melplash had managed to retain the rustic and raucous charm that epitomised Powerstock. Bridport Life declared it 'a thundering success'.
The afternoon kicked off in the Village Hall with lunch for the 20 plus artisan cider makers who had come from far and wide including a very merry bunch from the Welsh Borders.
The competition for the best ciders was keenly contested with some serious sampling throughout the afternoon and eventually prizes were presented by Nick Poole from the former Powerstock Cider Festival. Producers have a great deal of respect for the competition because it is blind tasted by fellow producers.
The festival opened to the public at 6pm giving plenty of time for to drink cider and talk to the producers before The Skimmity Hitchers took to the stage. With cider well and truly flowing the hall came alive. No badgers were harmed in the (it's a Hitchers thing!) during the course of the celebrations but one may have woken up with a sore head. The rustic marquee in the field provided a break from the mayhem with some great food available. Even the huge thunderstorm did not dampen the spirits of the revellers.
Almost 400 people attended the event and there has been lots of positive feedback. Melplash Village Hall may not be well known for its wild parties but times have changed. Many residents said it was the best party in the village for years.
A huge thanks to the many volunteers and in particular to Stephen Busk and Sam Synak who worked brilliantly managing the car parking and to Rupert Best for providing the field.
Thanks also to the producers for donating lakes of cider! Proceeds from the event went towards a defibrillator for the local community and a charity nominated by the Ashford family who kindly allowed the use their field for the marquee.