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
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.
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
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