The inaugural Melplash Cider Festival was a thundering success, organisers have said.

Organisers picked up the mantle from the highly-regarded Powerstock Cider Festival, which was created by Nick Poole 17 years ago.

The festival took place at Melplash Village Hall, and followed its predecessor's winning format, with a cider competition in the afternoon, which flowed into a lively evening of cider and roof-raising music.

The afternoon saw professional and amateur cider makers from far and wide, including from Dorset, Somerset, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Kent, Wales and France, congregate in the Melplash Village Hall for an afternoon of good company, catching up with old friends, cider-knowledge sharing and the all important peer-judged cider competition.

The competition was divided into three classes, sweet, medium and dry, with each cider producer, with advice from their entourage, judging all of the entries.

The judges each applied their own criteria, including taste, colour and the tricky art of identifying their own cider.

It was a clean sweep for Dorset Ciders, with Dorset Star from Chalmington picking up first prizes in the dry and medium category, and Waytown's Dorset Nectar picking up first in the sweet category.

Nick Poole established that he is still very much involved in the cider world, with his West Milton Cider picking up a second and third place spot.

From 6pm, the ticket-buying public were allowed entry, and an evening of cider and revelry ensued, with food provided by Kernow Pastries, who donated pasties, and Dorset Star Catering, who provided venison burgers, pork and cider hot dogs, and burritos.

Evening entertainment came in the form of the Skimmity Hitchers, who took to the stage for a roof raising set.

The day and the evening were declared a resounding success by both cider-makers and festival-goers, with the committee already starting plans for next year's event.

Matt Best, a member of the organising committee, said: "We were both thrilled and apprehensive when invited to continue the venerated Powerstock Cider Festival in Melplash.

"The day was a huge success, we are delighted that both the cider producers and festival goers continue to tell us how much they enjoyed the event, and we are already looking forward to arranging the next Melplash Cider Festival in 2019."

The cider makers generously donated cider to the festival, with all proceeds from the entry and cider tickets going towards the purchase of a defibrillator for the village, the upkeep of the Melplash Village Hall and a charity nominated by the Ashford family, who kindly allowed the use of their field.

The organisers have also shared their thanks to to Bridport Tourist Information, The Corner Garage in Melplash and The Pursuit of Hoppiness for their assistance in the sale of the tickets.

For further information, visit