James Crowden

James Crowden

James Crowden is a West country man and has written three books on Cider the latest being Cider Country. Back in 2008 Ciderland won the Andre Simon Food and Drink Award. He has also worked for 20 years as a casual agricultural labourer. He has sheared sheep on Cranborne Chase and lambed on Pitt Rivers Estate. His own sheep came from Alvediston. He has also spent time in Afghanistan and has wintered out in the Himalayas.

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  1. Speakers Corner: Cider History
    Speakers Corner: Cider History

    This talk will explore how the suave 17th century aristocrats and feisty Parliamentarian cidermakers of Herefordshire, Oxford and Somerset unwittingly pioneered a process of secondary fermentation with the aid of sugar, sealing wax pack thread and new-fangled dark green bottles. In the 1650s they produced a sparkling cider that not only mantled and wet the eyebrows but flew around the house - a technique that was later taken up by the London Vintners and then by the French themselves. In other words the English Cider makers had unwittingly pioneered what we now know as the méthode champenoise, and thus kick started the sparkling wine industry which is now vast and worth about $40 billion USD. High time to give credit where credit it is due! Added to this will be accounts of the famous Cider Riots of 1763 and the long-term political repercussions. In those heady days the cidermakers were even able to dislodge an unpopular Prime Minister in just 5 weeks. No tea parties within sight except in Boston. This event will be held at the Storage Works Speakers Corner tent.

    Outdoor Programme Event

    The Outdoor Programme daily ticket gives you access to everything on the festival's massive Outdoor Programme. The child ticket is applicable for ages 5-15; Under 5’s are free

    We have talks on the IPGL and History Hit Outdoor Stages, the Living History encampments and static displays, Speaker's Corner talks, performances from the History Tellers and others, live music, two bars, the Emporium, book shops and numerous cafes and food stalls. Anyone with an Outdoor Programme ticket can access up to twenty-five different scheduled events on any one day, so it is truly great value.

    For those wishing to experience The Trench, Sword School and Children's Creative History events, these are ticketed separately and need to be pre-booked. Rides on the Vintage Fairground are payable at the ride.

    Tickets to individual events in the Hiscox and Smith & Williamson tents also provide access to the Outdoor Programme on that particular day (1 person per ticket).

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