Sturminster Newton Cheese Festival
 

 

 

 

Creamery Milk Tanker
     
The Creamery at Sturminster Newton started when a group of local farmers formed a co-operative in 1913; its aim was to make a traditional Cheddar and supply fresh milk to the surrounding area.

The Milk Marketing Board purchased the Creamery in 1937 and it continued to operate under the auspices of this organisation until its deregulation in 1994. Since then it has operated as one of a group of Dairy Crest Ltd Creameries, continuing to specialize in traditional cheese varieties. Due to reorganisation within Dairy Crest group, Sturminster Newton Creamery closed at the end of December 2000.

Local milk was collected from a cluster of farms by their own bulk milk tankers. It was then brought into the creamery where it is manufactured into a variety of cheeses. At the end of production traditional Cheddar, Leicester, Double Gloucester, Oak Smoked Cheddar and a reduced fat 'cheddar type' cheese was produced.

 

Surprisingly over the 80 years of production and despite the introduction of automation and labour saving devices, the cheese making process remained relatively unchanged. They still used the traditional recipes, which included their our own 'home made' starter bacteria. The curds were pitched, cut, turned, piled and salted by hand. After this the curd was milled and then filled into aluminium moulds. These were placed into presses by hand before each cheese was 'dressed' in its bandage prior to returning to be pressed for a further two days.

Creamery workerAbout 1,000 tons per year of cylindrical traditional cheddar was produced and these whole 'rounds' were matured for up to 14 months prior to being cut into quarters and sold.

 

     
 
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