THE BCH ARCHIVE
LOCAL HISTORY FOR
And The Surrounding District
Weaver Family : Mount Pleasant
Mount pleasant is a significant landmark Castlemorton Common. Standing high on a knoll in the middle of the common it can be seen from a wide area.
Equipped with significant storage and barns and a hard yard as well as a weighbridge it was used by the Weaver Family since the 1920's. The Weaver dealt in Apples, Fruit, Grain and all kinds of associated agricultural Goods. It is now mainly used to store and process Apples and Fruit into cider, fruit wine. David Weaver has taken over at the farm and is now pressing apples, pears and other fruit in his new plant, Fermenters and liquid storage.
WEAVER FAMILY PHOTO 1920
Back row (from left):
Howard, Theresa, Charlie, Hereward
Front row (from left):
Mother - Eliza, Father - George
Mount Pleasant 1997
Mount Pleasant 1940
Weaver Lorries 1950
Weaver Lorries 1988
Loading apples by hand 1960s
Rear :- Arthur Coalson, Iver Lessimore, Front:- Harry Beale, Jack Clutterbuck, Brian Clutterbuck.
Eustace Hamilton Ian Stewart-Hargreaves and the Hargreaves Story
This colourful character, whose real name was Frank James White, established the Cotswold Cider Company. His story is told in “The Hargreaves Story”, published in 1953. Hargreaves was friend of Hereward Weaver and details of the first meeting are given in the book:
“The line of the Malverns stretches from Malvern town almost to Redmarley, and towards the Redmarley end, not very far from Holiday Farm, the hills ﬂank Castlemorton Common. Sheep graze the Common, but it is a lonely and almost uninhabited area. Hidden unexpectedly beyond this common land, tight up against the hills themselves is a ranch-like holding of buildings and sheds that form a rough enclosed square. It is known as Mount Pleasant, but it is called by those who really know it ‘Weavers.’ It is owned by the brothers Weaver, Hereward and Charlie; and from this remote ranch-like place they carry on a business as Grain Merchants. They also deal in fruit, particularly cider fruit, and are makers of cider.
Hargreaves never knew of their existence, but his wife did. So did Ray Hill. They had cider, good cider, and they would be worth going to see. He went. He went one morning in the little Singer. It was a difﬁcult place to ﬁnd, but at last he found it. Huge granaries ﬂanked two sides of a concreted yard, at the further
end of which there was a long low farmhouse. It was really three small cottages that had been knocked into one. It looked homely and comfortable. Two large lorries were parked in the yard. Ducks and chickens were scratching around. They were the only sign of life. Guarding the entrance gates, which were ﬂung wide, was a building obviously used as an office. It was locked securely. He explored the yard and was about to take the path that led to the dwelling when a slow voice behind him asked who he was and what he wanted.
Behind him - in front of him now that he had spun round - was a heavily built man of about his own age. He ﬁtted the place perfectly. His clothes seemed to be held together by a number of belts and pieces of string. His hat was almost shapeless and rested crookedly on tustled hair. He had quick, wary eyes that never wavered, and he chewed a straw between his lips. He, Hargreaves, asked for Mr. Hereward Weaver. ‘And who might you be?’ he asked. He never moved. He stood there solid, chewing the straw.
‘Tell Mr. Weaver that Mr. Hargreaves would like to have a word with him.’ _
‘When is he likely to be here?’
‘Dunno. What do you want anyhow?’
Hargreaves didn’t feel at all comfortable.
‘Did you say your name was Hargreaves?’
He looked round at the car and nodded.
‘That’s Mrs. Hargreaves’ car. I suppose you’re her husband. What do you want with Hereward?’
He was very persistent. He looked Hargreaves up and down curiously.
‘What’s it like in jug?’
This was really too much for Hargreaves. People never got around to talking like this to him. This man had no business to talk to him like that.
‘If Mr. Weaver is out there’s no point in waiting. I wanted to inquire whether he had any cider for sale. I’ll come back some other day.’
‘Cider, eh! We’ve got some good cider here. D’you want to taste it?’
This was better. The fellow had become almost friendly. He went over to one of the sheds and fumbled with the padlock. Hargreaves followed him and when he had got the door open they went into the dark interior. There were two large vats inside. It was cool and smelt of wine. The fellow hunted round for a glass but succeeded only in discovering a mug. It wasn’t very clean, but he washed it out in cider, throwing two or three mugfulls away before passing it to Hargreaves. It was cold and had an acid taste. He looked into the mug at what was left in it. It looked muddy, and when he ﬁnished it off he gave an involuntary shudder.
‘What do you think of it?’ he was asked.
‘How much is it a gallon?’ he countered.
‘Ah - you’ll have to see Hereward about the price.’
He led the way out again into the yard.
‘You don’t know much about cider, do you?’
He stood looking at Hargreaves with a smile. He was more friendly now.
‘I could let you have a few eggs if you could do with them.’
Eggs, even at Holiday Farm, were scarce. Hargreaves accepted the offer with alacrity, and promised that he wouldn't mention the transaction to Mr. Weaver.
‘That’s all right,’ the man said. ‘I am Mr. Weaver, Charlie Weaver.’
Hereward Weaver drove up then. He stepped out of a rather nice car and came over. Taller than his brother, better dressed, he had an interesting, inquiring face. They all went back into the shed to try the other vat of cider, which was sweeter and more mellow. The price ﬁnally agreed on was 3s. a gallon. That price was to include the ﬁlling of the casks and the cost of transporting them to a nearby station. All Hargreaves had to do was to provide the labels to affix to the consignments. The Weavers had some barrels. Not many, and by no means sufficient for even the present orders, but at least they would make an immediate start. It was there and then he agreed that they would ﬁll and get ready for dispatch, every
six- and ten-gallon cask on the premises, and Hargreaves promised to return to Mount Pleasant two days later with the necessary labels and the cash to pay for the cider. He offered to give them a cheque on the spot, but Hereward refused this and said that he preferred to have cash when the labels came.
Hargreaves drove away very satisﬁed. At 3s. a gallon he stood to make a proﬁt of 27s. on the smallest order and the only expense to come out of this was the cost of carriage. The cider he had bought was perhaps not as ﬁne as he had hoped to obtain. Later, when the business got really organised, he could endeavour to ﬁnd a better product. For the time being it would do.