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Review of Audlem History Society Talk on Thurs Oct 19th

25th October 2023 @ 6:06am – by Celia Bloor
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Review of Audlem History Society Talk on Thurs Oct 19th

The Worleston Dairy Institute by Bill Pearson

Bill is a well known local researcher, speaker and has even been on TV talking about Nantwich. There was a large audience including several farmers and people with knowledge of Reaseheath.

He gave an excellent, detailed but amusing talk on the creation of a school for dairy produce – butter and cheese. Two important players came together, Thomas Rigby and Anthony Hailwood, and successfully set up the first such school in the country. This was in 1886 close to the railway line in Aston juxta Mondrum. Rigby was secretary to the Chamber of Agriculture for 26 years and owned several flour mills. Hailwood had experience with transporting milk and the railways. He also developed sterilised milk, setting up the Cheshire Sterilised Milk Company in 1894.

Standards were high and hygienic and scientific principles were taught. Pages from one of the student's notebooks were shown from the early 1900s. It was taken over by the County. There was a royal visit there in 1913 and the long standing principal, Miss Jane Forster, noted the king's remarks telling him that dairy maids from there were employed all over the world. Many local names were involved, in some cases known to members of the audience. In 1918 due to the death of Sir Edward Cotton Jodrell the estate at Reaseheath was acquired by the County and The Worleston school closed in 1925 and moved there with an agricultural section and eventually became known as Reaseheath College.

The next meeting of the society is on November 16th.

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