Thatchers Purchase Spider Mower: Thatchers, the iconic Somerset-based cider makers, have purchased a Spider 1 remote controlled mower from supplying dealer, Loxston Groundcare. The new mower will be used to ensure that the premises are maintained to an exceptional standard around the ever-growing cider mill and the adjoining orchards.
Commenting on the new mower Neil Day, Operations Director at Thatchers said,
“We were founded on this site in 1904 and the current Managing Director, Martin Thatcher, is the fourth generation of the family to head the company. Under Martin’s stewardship the business has grown substantially and with that success we have had to increase the infrastructure here. Most notably the production facilities and warehousing. As a rural company with an international profile, we are considerate about our impact on the environment and keeping the profile of our buildings as unobtrusive as possible.
“As an example, to construct our new Jubilee building we excavated down into the existing ground level, which enabled us to lower the roofline. However, the result was that we now have grass banks to maintain and so we needed a mower that could help us do that, so I tasked our Maintenance technician, Ed Young to review the market.”
“Using the internet, I found various videos of Spider mowers and their tracked competitors,” he said. “I discounted the tracked versions as they appeared too aggressive on the turf and then reviewed the Spider website. I sent an enquiry to Spider’s UK Sales Manager, Nick Penn and a demo was quickly arranged here at Myrtle Farm. I was very impressed, as was Neil, and we virtually placed our order ‘on the spot’.
“We have many visitors to Myrtle Farm including regular tours and our biennial Open Day, which has been in our calendar since 1993 and attracts thousands of people each time. It’s important that we keep the premises in pristine condition all year round and the Spider is now integral to our grounds maintenance regime.”
It 1904 William John Thatcher first made his apple cider at Myrtle Farm. His farm workers enjoyed William’s finest as part of their wages and were said to be the best around. Today, the company still has the best cidermakers working at Myrtle Farm, just like the cider! Stanley Thatcher was born in 1910 and was the real cider business pioneer; he was the person who decided to start making draught cider and sold it to local pubs.
John Thatcher took over the business in 1970, expanding the orchards and the presses. Although he’s now retired and enjoying a much-earned rest, like most farmers John is still a big presence around the farm, offering his opinion and experience, and is always on hand to do a bit of ‘quality control’. In 1981, the historic 150-year old oak vats were moved into a new warehouse on the farm; they are still used to mature the company’s cider.
In 1992 Martin Thatcher took over from his father, John, and is still in charge today. His job involves looking after the whole operation, from the orchards to the bottling and beyond. Thatchers now produces more cider in a day, than it did in a year back in the early 1990s.
Thatchers very first television advert was launched in the summer of 2010 and in the same year they purchase a further 180 acres of orchard at Shiplate, overlooking the Bristol Channel. In 2014, their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Myrtle Farm to open the new Jubilee Building and a year later Thatchers Gold was exported to North America for the first time. Thatchers products now sell in over 22 countries worldwide. Last year saw the introduction of Orchard Cut Gin and Family Reserve, using the company’s knowledge of apples to create something a little different at Myrtle Farm.
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