A fundraising project has got to the core of one village community, hoping to rebuild its pavilion.
Westbury Wallop is a community cider, brewed by the people who live there, to be drunk by the people who live there at fundraising events. The idea was first suggested four years ago by Steve Viner and Rupert Smith who decided to do something about all the fallen apples they noticed in residents’ gardens.
Mr Viner said: “They really enjoy it. It has given a nice focal point in the village to some degree. It is a really nice thing to have. I think people are quite proud of it. The new emblem for the new pavilion is going to be an apple which shows that people have taken this on board.”
Now all ages, from four to 84, are involved in collecting the fruit, washing it, removing the rotten parts and pressing it to remove the juice which produced 700 litres of cider last year. Mr Viner admits there were plans for car jacks and wooden crates to create a makeshift fruit press before wine producer Tim Chafor, of Chafor Wine Estates in Gawcott, offered the loan of a fruit press.
This year the group brewed its second perry which went on to win the Perry Novice section at the annual Big Apple Cider Show in Putley, to be added to Westbury Wallop’s victory in the same cider category last year.
Westbury has also encouraged others around it to have a go and for the first time there was a community cider taste-off in April with brews from Westbury, Preston bisset, Gawcott and Mixbury. Guests voted via a blind tasting and Westbury just pipped Preston to the post.
The cider which is produced is served at village functions, including the Westbury Wallop event which is a gourmet banquet where all proceeds go towards funding the new pavilion.
This year Westbury Wallop cider will include some fruit from cider apple trees bought by the group to supplement the eating apples which are donated by villagers. The trees were planted three years ago and will provide their first crop this autumn.
Nothing is wasted in the process with even the leftpover pulp going to a local pig farmer to use as animal feed.