Saving a slice of history

By Richard Simpson

Mar 6, 2024

Saving a slice of history
On Christmas Eve, we came within a whisker of losing an historic part of our British culture.
In September 1978, Ruth Kirkham made the first batch of raw milk Lancashire at Beesley Farm, Lancashire. She received the recipe from her mum, Ruth Townley, and the cheese was named Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire. The milk came from their own herd of 40 Holstein Friesian cows, and they made just four cheeses a day! In 2008, the dairy expanded, their herd was now 100 strong and Graham Kirkham had returned to the business to take it forward into the next generation.

Kirkham’s Lancashire is unique.

- They have used their same mother starter culture to make the cheese for over 60 years now; making it a totally unique and romantic expression of their land.

- It is the only remaining raw milk, traditional farmhouse Lancashire being made in Lancashire (and the world!).
To put that into perspective, in the late 1930s there were over 200 farms making cheese in the area. British territorial cheese, like Lancashire, is an intrinsic part of our collective British tradition and DNA.
It is one of the truest expressions of British:
  • Produce
  • Land
  • Tradition
  • History
  • Craftsmanship
  • Character
  • Culture
On Christmas Eve, 2023, we almost lost this special cheese due to a precautionary recall.

After months of testing, every single batch tested came back all clear, and the Kirkham's production methods were universally praised. They had been unable to sell any cheese they made since October a precaution. This has decimated the Kirkham's business and would probably have wiped out 95% of cheesemakers. We almost lost raw milk traditional Lancashire entirely, and possibly forever. We need to do everything we can to support this critically endangered cheese.
Here is what we are going to do. For the next week we will offer*:
This is one of the most extraordinary products, exceptional in quality as well as worth defending culturally. I hope you’ll join us in supporting the Kirkhams, and their very special cheese…trust me, it will be the best Lancashire you have EVER tasted.

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