Cider-making display


This listed building is one of the Museum’s first galleries, created in the 1960s to display agricultural vehicles. It now holds a display of cider-making equipment.

Cider is an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of apples. It was the staple drink of farmworkers in the Welsh border counties. Most farm servants insisted on it as a right, until well into the 1900s. The bottom line was ‘No cider, no work’.

Farmers were careful to limit the amount of cider available to their men. Between four and eight pints a day was the usual allowance. But some communal activities such as sheep washing and shearing were notorious for the amount of cider drunk. It was the cause of accidents and brawls.

This practice came to an end with the introduction of the Agricultural Wages Board in 1921. An increase in labourers’ wages did away with the need to provide subsidies in the form of free cider.