HRH The Princess Royal, visited Colston Bassett Dairy in Nottinghamshire on Thursday 9th May – to see Colston Bassett Stilton being made and to meet the people behind this historic British cheese.
When HRH The Princess Royal arrived, Billy Kevan presented a brief history of the Dairy and an overview of the business today. HRH The Princess Royal was then guided around the Dairy to see the cheesemaking taking place and then into the cheese maturing rooms. Billy Kevan outlined how the flavour profiles of the cheese developed during maturation to make the perfect Colston Bassett Stilton.
HRH The Princess Royal then kindly unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit during the centenary year of Colston Bassett Dairy. Her visit was completed by being presented with a gift of some specially selected cheese to take home – both Colston Bassett Stilton and Shropshire Blue.
Colston Bassett’s 100th anniversary celebrations began on Sunday 21st April with a thanksgiving church service in the village. The service was by invitation only and guests included Colston Bassett villagers, Dairy shareholders, workers and managers – past and present.
Bill Handbury, a Dairy Committee member, provided a summary of the one hundred year history of the Dairy and the daughters of the long standing manager, Ernest Wagstaff re-told their childhood memories. The whole village was involved in the event – the village hall and the church were decorated with bunting and photographic displays created by children from Colston Bassett School.
Colston Bassett’s 100th year anniversary celebrations have captured the imagination of local people – with BBC Radio Nottingham reporting on the event. Sarah Julian interviewed both Billy Kevan, the Dairy Manager and Mrs Le Marchcant-Connell, a local farmer, the village vicar and a committee member, about the growth and success of Colston Bassett Stilton. BBC News has also helped spread the word of the centenary by posting an article on their website! To read the article or to listen to the radio broadcast click on the links below:
Paninis, baguettes, rolls, wraps and good old fashioned sliced bread……Colston Bassett Dairy is asking you to share your favourite Stilton sandwich filling to celebrate National Sandwich Week – 12th to 19th May 2013. The most irresistible and original recipes will be shortlisted and four lucky winners will be chosen – winning a piece of Colston Bassett Stilton and a piece of Shropshire Blue each. The competition will be running until Tuesday 7th May 2013 – so dust down your breadboard, grab a butter knife and let your imagination run wild!
Remember sandwiches can be hot or cold, large or small, filled to the brim or delicately made…..whatever your sandwich choice – we want to hear about it! Please send your sandwich recipe or idea to email@example.com - we would love to see what you have made so please send in pictures of your Stilton-filled sandwiches! You can also enter via Twitter – just tweet your favourite Stilton sandwich ideas to @colstonbassett or enter on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ColstonBassett. We cannot wait to see what weird and wonderful sandwiches you enjoy!
Please click below for competition terms and conditions:
Researchers at the Universities of Nottingham and Northampton have determined the source of Stilton’s distinctive smell – Y.lipolytica. This is a particular type of ‘secondary microflora’ which boosts the smell of blue cheese. This exciting discovery has been shared with Colston Bassett and other East Midlands cheesemakers with the intention of achieving an even more appetising aroma.
Billy Kevan, the General Manager at Colston Bassett and Chairman of the Stilton Cheese Makers Association, has identified a sea of change in attitudes towards cheese in the last 10 years, commenting: “There has been a big swing of change in the quality of cheeses in the UK. People are taking more of an interest in the tradition of UK cheesemaking.”
Billy explained that it has taken the British cheese industry a long time to recover after losing many skilled cheesemakers in the Second World War. However recently there has been a surge in locally produced, artisan cheese – with around 60% to 70% of the market consisting of high-quality products.
Visit ‘Our Cheeses’ to discover how Colston Bassett makes its artisan cheese range.