CATHEDRAL CITY

Inventing tradition

ORIGINAL

About Us

All of our milk is 100% British, sourced from around 330 local dairy farmers in the South West, the heart of England’s richest milk fields.

We pride ourselves on the close working relationship we have with our farmers, many of whom are family run businesses that have been dairy farming for several generations like John Pennington shown above.

All the milk that goes into Davidstow, our world class creamery in Cornwall, comes direct from our farmers. Davidstow has a long history of making award winning cheddar of consistent quality and is the home of the distinctive, smooth and creamy taste of Cathedral City, the Nation’s Favourite.

https://cathedralcity.co.uk/about-us/

NOTES

It sometimes happens that an academic book finds an audience outside its expected readership. Eric Hobsbawm’s Invention of Tradition (1983) is a fine example. Granted the imprimatur of Wally Olins, this seminal essay migrated out of the arts&humanities departments to colonize the libraries of design studios and advertising agencies.

Hobsbawm would have seen the funny side, even if his new audience consistently missed it. His project had been to unpick supposedly time-honoured traditions, revealing in the process the ideological agendas of the agencies which constructed them. His followers were now treating his text as a primer for new coinages of their own. Thus the whirligig of time…

Of course, not every invented tradition will be constructed as competently and thoroughly as, say, the coronation ceremony. Recent, half-arsed coinages may cause latter-day readers of Invention to experience the promptings of a properly Marxist irony, a close relation of the old cliche about history, tragedy and farce. As the toolsets by means of which tradition is invented become more accessible, so do their applications become increasingly perfunctory.

Cathedral City, a cheddar variant adapted to modern tastes by an increased salt content, was invented just 30 years ago by Mendip Foods. Its name references Wells in Somerset, the cathedral city where Mendip Foods was founded, but for the past two decades it has actually been produced by its new owners DairyCrest at the small and cathedral-less town of Davidstow in Cornwall.

The ‘About Us’ text quoted here is predictably disingenuous. John Pennington’s herd produces fine milk, doubtless, but it’s hardly remarkable to find a cheesemaker buying ingredients from an established supplier a county or two away. The implied claim about Davidstow’s cheesemaking traditions is technically correct, but has its origins in the decision of the Cow&Gate conglomerate to establish its factory at the village as recently as 1951. And so on.

Leaving aside issues of factuality, we’d argue that the listlessness and poor organization on display here reveal the strain under which DairyCrest’s constraints have placed the copywriter. Our rewrite assumes that the company has opted instead for a more direct approach. After all, running the most popular food brand in the UK is nothing to be ashamed of.

OUR VERSION

About Us

Cathedral City is the UK’s number one cheese brand. It’s the tenth most popular brand in the UK, and the highest-ranked of any food or drink item. Brits love their Cathedral City!

Every ounce of Cathedral City comes from our cheesery at Davidstow in Cornwall, where we’ve been making fine cheeses since 1951. All the milk that goes into our brands is 100% British, sourced from farms in the South-West, the heart of the UK dairy industry.

Our comprehensive range includes Mild, Mature, Mature Lighter, Extra Mature and Vintage, Lactose Free and Spreadable versions… plus Cathedral City Snack Bars, Cathedral City Minis and new Cathedral City Baked Bites.

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