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

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

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.

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.
The Stuckey Harvester – Bath & West Innovation Award 1982
The Stuckey Apple Blower

Retirement of John Stuckey
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