Cooking up a storm!

May finishing her personal patternPam & a selection of things to tasteHappy Fentiman's customer

Over 200 people came through the door of Slaley Parish Hall on Easter Saturday to try the tastes which the Smelters and Carriers would also have enjoyed. Displays of cooking implements and old recipe books were set alongside tables crammed with gingerbread, curd cheese, lemon posset, Hexham Gooseberry Tart, honey shortbread, lardy cake, toffee, and rabbit and mushroom casserole.

Delicious! Pat Wilson, Pam Forbes sample Lemon Posset with Nelleke Astbury of the Travellers Rest Younger generation at work

One highlight was watching buttermaking, with the beaten cream being patted into shape by a pair of well-practiced hands. As a little girl, May would help her mother on the farm to make over 20 pounds of butter each Wednesday. She can still recreate their unique identifying pattern, so everyone would know which farm the butter came from.

Yvonne's daughter showing off her personal pattern People watching butter demo

We hope to be able to put some of the recipes used onto this website in the near future, then you can all have a flavour.


The Dukesfield Smelters and Carriers Project aimed to celebrate and discover the heritage of the Dukesfield Arches & lead carriers' routes between Blaydon and the lead mines of Allendale and Weardale. A two year community project, it was led by the Friends of the North Pennines in partnership with Hexhamshire and Slaley Parish Councils and the active support of Allendale Estates. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generous support of other sponsors. Friends of the North Pennines: Charity No:1137467