Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 13:41 UK

Freedom of London for cider maker

Julian Temperley describes his cider brandy

A West country cider brandy manufacturer has received the freedom of the City of London.

Julian Temperley has produced cider brandy on his farm near Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset, since 1989.

The ancient honour means he has become part of the Worshipful Company of Distillers and can drive sheep across London Bridge.

"It's an extraordinary honour for a small farmer who spends most of his time covered in mud," he said.

Heritage

"We need to sell the story of apples, of cider and cider brandy to the wider world and this is a good starting point.

"If you look at Somerset and say 'what is famous in Somerset?' then it's Cheddar cheese and apple products," said Mr Temperley.

"That is what we're part of and the cider industry has been around for a thousand years and we need people to be proud of that so if London says we should be proud of it then everybody should be."

The Freedom of the City of London is thought to have been first bestowed in 1237 and is one of the oldest surviving ceremonies of its kind.

The award is given by the Corporation of London, which governs the square mile financial district in the centre of the capital.



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