The Cider Workshop Admin Team

These are the folk who look after both the Cider Workshop Google group and

·         CiderWorkshop Admin

This is the official form of communication to the group when required.

There are two reasons for the existence of CiderWorkshop Admin: Firstly, it allows the team to enjoy and participate in all the comings and goings of the group without any ‘Management’ tag attached. Secondly, any decision taken by CiderWorkshop Admin is always subject to members of the team – in line with the groups Principles. Therefore, a message may be sent by any member of the team, or as a result of discussion between several members of the team. So it makes sense to have a ‘corporate’ entity to do this.

Ciderworkshop Admin is the first line of support for members of the group if you have a problem or require mediation. It is the one who knows who is in the group, and watches over the group to ensure that members don’t have to get caught up in disruption.


The team (in alphabetical order) are:

·         Roy Bailey – Lambourn Valley Cider

Roy formed the Lambourn Valley Cider Company in 1995, but now concentrates on producing bottle fermented perry. However, with a couple of other Berkshire cider makers, Roy continues to promote ‘cider and perry from the Royal County’.

Roy brings a maturity and knowledge to the Cider Workshop – he doesn’t tend to say much, but then quality is much better than quantity!

·         Ray Blockley – Hucknall Cider Co.

Ray has been playing around at making cider for many years, but seriously got bitten by the real cider bug over 10 years ago. He is an enthusiastic amateur and hobby cider maker – and drinker. He also likes real ale, good wine and good food. He likes to share his passion for real cider and perry, and to help others discover this great traditional drink.

Ray’s background is in secondary education – which gets in the way of cider making… With his new wife Gail, he is busy planting out an orchard of cider apple trees, their aim being to produce more true Nottinghamshire cider. Ray & Gail help to further the good word of real cider through their work within CAMRA, particularly when managing the cider and perry bar at festivals.

Ray brings to the Cider Workshop a whole heap of things – from experience of making and campaigning for the cider cause, to even trying his hand at

·         Dick Dunn – aka Talisman Farm Cider in Colorado (aka rcdgg)

Dick was an aging-hippie computer nerd, now out of that game.  He also started home-brewing some 30 years ago, later finding his way to mead making, and with the prodding of his ex-pat Brit wife Diane, finally coming round to the noblest goal, cidermaking. 

Dick and Diane have a small farm in Hygiene, in northern Colorado, USA, where Dick has planted about an acre of apples and pears, mainly British and American cider and perry varieties.  Their first commercial cider, made in cooperation with a local winery, was released in 2008.

Dick also maintains two email lists, the Cider Digest and Mead-Lover's Digest, which have a North-American slant to the discussions, and brings his experience of ‘janitoring’ these groups as well as his enthusiasm for cider and perry.

·         Mark Ellis – (aka MarkEinoz)
Living and working in Melbourne, Australia, Mark aspires to give up the corporate life and "retire" with his young family as a cidermaker to his family's 100 year old, 30 acre orchard in our version of West Country, the Wimmera Plains area of Western Victoria outside of Horsham in a little place called Quantong, which is being replanted or grafted over to cider and perry to compliment the dessert varieties that actually make a quid.

Australia is at the beginnings of a significant cider renaissance and new cider and perry  makers are popping up all over the place. Mark will endeavour to provide updates to the cider workshop from a Down-Under perspective.

·         Vicky (aka Fruit Shark)

UK distributer for the Fruit Shark electric crusher and DIY producer of up to 200 gallons per year. As a technical person, she brings expertise on the workings of the group. As a cidermaker, Vicky attends and demonstrates at New Forest Cider’s Steam Pressing Weekend and has a depth of experience in cider making.

·         Stephen Hayes – Fruitwise Heritage Orchard (aka Rambling Steve AppleSeed)

Stephen Hayes is a GP who has been fascinated with apples since his youth. After reading an item in the Times colour supplement circa 1980 which detailed, with lovely watercolours, rare and almost vanished apple varieties such as Ashmead’s Kernel, Ribston Pippin, Michaelmas Red, D’Arcy spice and Orleans Reinette, he decided to do something about the unobtainability of these delightful fruits, and in 1992 began planting an orchard in Durley, Hampshire, which now consists of around 800 trees of 50 varieties. Main interest is rare ‘heritage’ apple varieties and encouraging people to plant and manage small orchards. Trades with wife Julia as Fruitwise Heritage apples (see and sells fruit and occasionally juice at Hampshire farmers markets. Grows 50 west country cider apples and makes cider for own and friends use, 400 litres in 2008, and has put numerous videos on Youtube about grafting, pruning and general care of apple trees. His deranged cousin Rambling Steve Appleseed occasionally posts guitar videos on his channel and should be strictly ignored.

·         Jez Howat - 146 Cider Company (aka JezH)

A cider maker of 6 years experience, Jez is proof that blanket rejection of Magners and the like is unwise. A Magners drinker who wanted to make his own cider, Jez no longer drinks industrial cider but instead has increased production over the period to making some 500 gallons in 2010, selling this to local festivals and outlets under the moniker, 146 Cider Company.

With a background in marketing, Jez has been responsible for the collation and development of Jez believes that good cider makers are always open to new learning and love sharing experiences, stories and cider! He also believes that you don’t actually die when forced to take a sip of large producers commercial cider.

·         Andrew Lea – Wittenham Hill Cider

Andrew is a prizewinning hobby cidermaker who learned his trade when working at the now defunct Long Ashton Cider Research Station in the 1970’s. Unhappy with some of the misinformation on cidermaking being spread around in later years, he set up the Wittenham Hill Cider Pages website as a means of passing on reliable technical information about craft cider making to a wider audience.

He sees his role at the Cider Workshop with much the same purpose. But he doesn’t believe there is only the one ‘right’ way to make cider – he likes to outline the options so people can choose for themselves. 

·         Mark Shirley – Rockingham Forest Cider (aka Scrumpyboy)

A very small-scale commercial/hobby cider and perry maker (Rockingham Forest Cider). Mark is interested in all aspects of the craft from orcharding and cidermaking, through to drinking good quality cider and perry, particularly at pubs and festivals. Following 20+ years of involvement with UK cidermakers, and those associated with the sale and promotion of cider and perry, he believes that 'Cider Folk' are generally friendlier, and more generous of their time and knowledge than most. Must be something in the juice.

Mark actively promotes cider and perry through his CAMRA associations and brings this experience, along with his passion for all things cider/perry, to the Cider Workshop.



The Cider Workshop was formed as a result of a group of 10 people getting together to figure out how to ‘do’ cider and perry discussions in a fair and fun way, whilst making sure that control, ego and personality did not get in the way. The result of this is the Cider Workshop – a group that can discuss and debate without all the baggage.