The stuckeys - Old cider making tools

The Stuckeys of Stembridge

Five Generations of apple, orchard and handling innovation – at local, county and regional level

Walter Stuckey – first generation of apple and fruit growers.

Albert (left), and son, John Stuckey – second & third

Bessie, Albert, Margaret, John & David Stuckey – 2nd,3rd & 4th generations.
1930’s to 1950’s – Production of Nursery Trees – root stock, stem builder and grafted head – supplying/planting throughout Somerset and beyond.

Orchard ladder monogram – A.S – Albert Stuckey
The Stembridge Jersey

1940’s – Development and introduction of a new apple variety – the Stembridge Jersey.
The Stembridge Jersey photo source :
Liz Copas : Cider Apples – The New Pomona

Grafting by Hand

Some of Albert & John Stuckey’s grafting equipment.

The small paraffin burner was used for several decades in many orchards by John Stuckey and his family whilst grafting young or mature apple trees. A ball of bee’s wax about 1 ½ inches in diameter would be dropped into a suitable receptacle (usually an old tin can with a piece of wire tied to make a handle) and lowered onto the lit burner. Once the wax had melted, the burner would be turned down to keep the wax in a liquid state whilst the work progressed. After the young shoot (or graft as it was called) had been inserted into a suitable sawn-off and prepared branch of the apple tree, the graft joint would be wrapped and tied with raffia to hold it in place. Then a liberal amount of liquid wax would be painted around it to seal the graft in place and eliminate rain, pests or infection.

1940’s & 50’s – Experts at Orchard renovation & top-grafting – winners of a Special Award from the Royal Agricultural Society of England and featured in the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Fruit Year Book of 1954.

Conservation : The Stembridge Cluster

The conservation and development of the Stembridge Cluster in the 1970’s – used widely across the West Country.

1960’s & 70’s – John’s arranging and overseeing the planting of thousands of trees in Devon, Dorset & Somerset on behalf of the original Taunton Cider Company.
Innovation in bulk handling
The Stuckey Harvester – Bath & West Innovation Award 1982
The Stuckey Apple Blower

John Stuckey – Cider Apple Expert Retires

Cider Apple production continues.
Above : Stuckey apple-collecting machines through the years.

Robert Stuckey and family
Robert Stuckey
At Stembridge, on the bulk apple tower.

Robert Stuckey