The Wensleydale Creamery joined cheesemakers from around the UK in donating to the Chelsea Pensioner’s Annual Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses.

In total, more than 330kg of British cheese was donated to the Royal Hospital Chelsea event.

Chelsea Pensioner Norman Bareham, who served in the Coldstream Guards – the oldest continuously serving regular regiment in the British Army – was tasked with cutting the ceremonial cheese.

The centuries old tradition of donating cheese to the In-Pensioners began more than 320 years ago in 1692 and cheesemakers have continued to do so ever since. Sixty-four years ago, the process of the cheese donations was organised into a ceremony of celebration and gratitude to the Chelsea pensioners for their service.

The Northern Echo: Chelsea Pensioners with cheeses from the Wensleydale Creamery

Sandra Bell, marketing manager at Hawes-based Wensleydale Creamery, added: “It was our absolute pleasure to join our fellow UK cheesemakers in donating to such a great cause. This celebration has become such a time-honoured tradition, so to play a role in supporting this with our handcrafted cheese from the Yorkshire Dales means a lot.”

Paul Vernon, chairman of Dairy UK, which hosts the annual ceremony, added: “We are very grateful to the cheesemakers from across the UK for their generous donations and their ongoing commitment to celebrating the men and women of this great British institution. This annual donation is a great tradition of paying tribute to the courage and contribution of our war veterans and we at Dairy UK are proud to play a part in this historic event.”