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About a year ago Lord Hampden established a dairy factory on his estate at Glynde, near Lewes, for the benefit of his tenants and other farmers of the district. The intention was to form a company to work it; but, some difficulty having arisen, Lord Hampden decided to make the start on his own accord, with the idea of forming a company later on, in the event of the venture proving successful and needing to be extended. An ordinary cattle-shed was transformed into a factory at a comparatively small expense and, although not exactly an ornamental structure, has served the purpose for a time, but is now being enlarged as well as improved, to allow of an increased quantity of milk being dealt with.
On the occasion of my visit, arranged beforehand with Viscount Hampden, his Lordship was, unfortunately, called away unexpectedly, and I was disappointed at not having the pleasure of meeting a nobleman whose efforts to improve the position of his tenants and labourers are well known. The manager of the factory, Mr F Mayger*, very courteously showed me all that there was to be seen, and gave me all possible information, answering all questions without reserve. One thing I was not able to obtain - a balance sheet of the business, that being only now in course of preparation. It is scarcely to be expected that a profit will be made on the first year's working, but it is important to know whether there is a prospect of profit. Judging from the price obtained for the produce of the factory, I am disposed to expect it to pay well. At any rate, it is to be hoped that it will pay, because it is of great advantage to the tenants on the estate and other farmers in the district. This will be obvious to all readers when I state that the price paid for milk was 9d per imperial gallon during the winter months - fully half the year, I believe - while recently 7d per gallon has been paid for Shorthorn and 8d for Jersey milk. Some extra milk, which Lord Hampden has been urged to take at any price, is not so liberally paid for, because until the factory has been enlarged it is an inconvenience to have more than the regular quantity - about 800 gallons a day. But 7d and 8d are good prices to be paid at Glynde, at a time when a good deal of milk is being sold in London at 6d or less. When the alterations are finished the factory will be capable of dealing with 2000 gallons per day. About 2000lbs of butter per week have been made lately, and sold at good prices. For six months up to the end of March the price obtained was 1s 6d per lb, and it was 1s 4d up to the end of May, while since it has been 1s 2d, at which price buyers are willing to take any quantity that can be turned out.
Mr Mayer*, the manager, was trained in Lord Vernon's factory. The head dairymaid, Miss Rush, was for some time with Professor Carroll at Glasnevin. The butter made on the occasion of my visit was excellent, and I understand that it is regularly good.
There are two Danish separators in the factory, each of which will deal with 100 gallons of milk per hour in warm weather, and about one-third less in cold weather. A much larger separator of the same kind is ordered. The churn, worked by steam like the rest of the machinery, is a Bradford's diaphragm, which will churn 30 gallons of cream at a time; but a larger churn is ordered. In cool weather a Delaiteuse is used. One of Bradford's butter-makers was in use on the occasion of my visit, and the butter, taken out of the churn in granules, of course, was salted with dry salt on the worker. The temperature at which the cream was churned was 60 degrees Fahrenheit. During the winter months 1lb of butter was produced from 2¼ to 2½ gallons of milk, but it is to be borne in mind that a good many of the cows on Lord Hampden's estate and some on his tenant's farms are Jerseys. One of Mr Jasper Stephenson's sample churns is used for testing the milk. Hot and cold water and steam are available all over the factory, and outside there is a capital arrangement for using water and steam in cleaning the cans in which milk is brought to the factory.
There is no difficulty in getting rid of the separated milk, about 3d per gallon net at the factory being obtained for it. Most of it is sent to Lewes, Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton and Tunbridge Wells, and only a little to London. That sent to London pays least. The people of the Glynde district have all they like at a penny a quart, while for new milk they are charged 4d. Lord Hampden is anxious to have the separated milk sold at a reasonable price in the towns, and for that reason he makes an arrangement which is not of a rigidly commercial character. Dealers who retail at 3d a quart get their milk delivered at a price (about 4d a gallon usually) which leaves 3d net; but if they sell at 1½d a quart they pay less - about a halfpenny less. In winter the price at the factory is 3½d a gallon. The average net price for the year is fully 3d, I understand; which is satisfactory. The separated milk is scalded, at a temperature of 160 degrees, one of Lawrence's scalders being used. It is then cooled down to 60 degrees before being sent away.
The jug cream trade is being started at the factory. Neat little half pint and quarter pint jugs, corked down and covered with silver paper, are sent out. The thick cream is intended to be retailed at 6d, and thin at 5d, a quarter pint. Jugs, corks, silver paper, carriage and agent's commission take about half, leaving threepence a quarter pint for thick cream. This, of course, pays better than butter making, if a regular demand can be met with for a large quantity; but there is a good deal of work and trouble in this branch of the business.
Lord Hampden has a herd of shorthorns and another of Jerseys. Unfortunately, on the occasion of my visit, they were grazing in a distant part of the Home Farm, and I had not time to go to inspect them. A good many of the Jerseys were imported from the Island.
I left the factory heartily wishing success to an undertaking carried on under circumstances so beneficial to all concerned in it, and from what I saw of the management and the work, I have every reason to trust that success will be realised. A dairy factory in the hands of an ordinary middle-man, whose only object is to buy in the cheapest market and sell to the dearest is, in my opinion, a source of injury to dairy farmers; but Lord Hampden's undertaking is of a very different character, for he desires only bank interest on his capital, and he may be trusted to pay his tenants as much for their milk as he can afford to give without being a loser.
[ * In this report the manager's name was spelt as both Mayger and Mayer. Ed]
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