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Feature 22 December 2013


Exhibition helps churnupsome fond memories

By Meyrick Brown

the memorabilia associated with farming more than half acentu- ry ago. Fullyfeatured wasanessential


BUTTERING UP VISITORS:Awooden butterchurn on display at the Llewellin Churnworks exhibit at Camrose Vintage Day, along with an old advert (below) from the company’sheyday.

piece of equipment in most farm dairies,however small, up to about 60 years ago–awooden butter churn, probably made locallyat Llewellin’s Churnworks in Haver- fordwest, whichgained internation- al renown as the best butter churns manufactured in the 19th century. The churn works at Northgate,

were originallybuilt by acooper, John Llewellin, between 1883 and 1888, by whichtime the butter churns produced by him were regarded as of first-rate quality all over the country and later theworld. In about 1900 the works extended

to include saw-mills,adrying kiln, drying sheds and acorn mill. Power came froma15hp steam engine and, in the early part of the 20th century, aseries of large factory churns and butter workers were manufactured and by the 1930s these had been installed in most of the larger dairies in the country. Butter churns work on the simple

principlethatagitating cream even- tuallyturns it into butter and the basic churn had, in fact, changed very little from 14 centuries previ- ouslydiffering little in appearance fromthatseen inmyillustration. The most well-known kind of

churn wasasimple barrel-like (or end over end) hand operated device thatneeded to be continuously cranked, usuallyfor about 30 min- utes,asthe cream went through stages of being sloshy, frothy, soft

whipped cream, firm whipped cream, coarse whipped cream and then, quite suddenly, it will seize, its smooth shape will collapse,and the whirring will change to sloshing. Thebutter becomes fine grained bits

of butter in buttermilk, and afew seconds later,aglob of yellowish butter will separate from milkybut- termilk. The butter can be eaten immedi-

ately, it has alight taste,though it will store better if it is washed and a little tablesalt is added. Arange of specialbutter making tools,suchas apaddlefor working, or molds for shaping (forming) the finished but- ter were usuallyathand. This aspect of the Llewellin’sbusi-

ness and thatwhichdeveloped to become Dairy and Agricultural Engineers and FeedMerchants with an innovative Ferguson tractor deal- ership were prominentlyfeatured at this year’s Camrose Vintage Show. Numerous local organisations

POPULAR MACHINE: The Llewellin family diversified into selling Ferguson tractors, such as this model, which was on show at Camrose Vintage Working Day.

PICTURES: Meyrick Brown.

benefited from the proceeds of the Camrose Vintage Working Day, including. Making full use of the huge marqueeonthe field, Shirley Williams,and anumber of willing helpers arranged acharity “Big Sing” on the Sundayevening after the show. The community singing, including anumber of celebrity appearances,attracted an immense crowdwho paid £3,900 to attend and afurther £1,120 wasraised from a bucket collection.

ISITORS to this years Cam- rose Vintage Working Day in August sawsomething of

REMINISCING: John Birt Llewellin, discusses his family’sold company with avisitor at Camrose Vintage Working Day.

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