27th July 2006
Dear Longley Farm,
I love your yogurts. No I really mean it. I really really love them. I’ve been meaning to write this letter for about six years now, but things kept getting in the way. Thankfully the Internet has evolved on my behalf so that I can send you this email.
I want to express my gratitude, and indeed my admiration, for the work of Longley Farm. As a child I was quite picky about food. My mum used to despair, filling my lunchbox with all sorts of healthy goodies which I would just trade for Merlin football stickers. But then she started putting Longley Farm Rhubarb yogurts in my packed lunch, and it turned my food habits around. I loved it. I loved it so much that as soon as my mum had dropped me off at school I would sneak around the back of one of the playground walls and eat the yogurt with my fingers. I was quite a disgusting child actually.
Anyway, I grew up and inexplicably found myself in London, working for the man. To my great chagrin, I couldn’t find Longley Farm Rhubarb yogurts anywhere. London, it seems, is a cultural and catering backwater. So I moved to Norwich to teach it a lesson. In Norwich there was a Morrisons, which as a loyal Bradfordian, I felt obliged to frequent. To my great joy I discovered the Yorkshire chain was selling Yorkshire’s greatest export — Longley Farm Rhubarb yogurts! For this reason I had a very happy time in Norwich, but sadly the man soon called me back to the capital and its yogurt deprivation. This is the state I find myself in today.
I hope that Longley Farm yogurts can find a way to get its yogurt through to London. I can’t find any supermarkets other than Morrisons which sell your produce. Perhaps I shall just have to do the sensible thing and move back to Bradford. Or Huddersfield even, to be nearer to the source. I never used to like Huddersfield on account of the football fans boasting about their McAlpine stadium being better than Valley Parade, but Longley Farm has changed all that. Incidentally, Longley Farm looks remarkably similar to the original Emmerdale Farm. Is this where it was filmed? Do Emmerdale ever do product placement for Longley Farm? They should do. They want their heads looking if they don’t. I think Longley Farm should do T-shirts, perhaps in conjunction with Yorkshire Tea. They could have a picture of the Longley farm cow on it saying something like “Don’t be daft lad, eat my yogurts.” I’d pay money for that.
Anyway, thanks for sparing some valuable yogurt-making time to read my email. Is there a Longley Farm fanclub I can subscribe to? Can I have a badge? Do you ever go on tour? Is it possible to visit the Jersey herd you have, which I believe is one of the largest herds of its kind in Europe? I’d like to personally express my gratitude to the cows one day. Not in a weird way, you understand. Anyway, thanks again. Please pass on my thanks and congratulations to all the farmers, farmhands and yogurteers.
Aged 23 and three quarters
PhD Candidate King’s College London
To: Kieran Mitton
20th August 2006
Thanks for your email regarding your love affair with Longley Farm Yogurts. I am sure our yogurts or at least our yogurt makers feel the same about you, or will do after I have placed your email on the staff noticeboard for them and all the others to read and bask in your words of praise.
I have got to agree that eating yogurt with your fingers is quite a disgusting thing to do and I can’t help but wonder if after eating the yogurt you wiped your hands clean on your clothes leaving stains that would have put off even the most devoted swapper of Merlin stickers in the playground.
You can buy our yogurts in London, at branches of Morrisons, Selfridges, Mortimer & Bennett W4, quite a few health food stores (contact Marigold Health Foods for stockists) or contact one of our distributors firstname.lastname@example.org for other outlets. We do get lots of emails etc., from exiles in the deep South and a few from Norwich, though it is beyond a simple Yorkshireman like myself why people want to live there.
Longley Farm isn’t the original Emmerdale, that was Lindley Farm between Otley and Harrogate and it costs quite a lot of dosh to get products placed in films and TV and being lowly Yorkshire Farmers and a bit tight with brass …… need I say more?
No, we don’t have a fan club although you can subscribe cash to me at anytime and I will see it goes to a good brewery, you could always start one (a fan club that is, or a brewery) whilst we don’t go on tour I have taken pots of yogurt on sightseeing trips but they never seem very impressed, in fact the last lot I took, along with some cream, during the really hot days of summer, were by the end of the day quite off!!
I will speak to the cows and let you know what they say, they are a pretty, pretty shy bunch.
Thanks once again.
27th October 2008
Dear dear Longley Farm,
Well, it’s been just over two years since I received your excellent reply, so I figured now was the appropriate time to write another email. Just like making good quality yoghurt, these things can’t be rushed.
First, I’d like to ask after the herd if I may. How is the herd? Please let them know that I’m still admiring their work. They’ve still got it.
Second, I was appalled to see in a Sainsbury’s recently something called “Lancashire Tea.” Can you believe that? What next? Will they be trying to rip-off Longley Farm yoghurts too? Probably. And I bet they get that Peter Kay to do the adverts. Still, they don’t have the rhubarb triangle, so they won’t get far.
A lot of people down here don’t really think there’s any difference between Yorkshire and Lancashire. But they’re all cockneys passed Barnsley, so I suppose it’s to be expected. Anyway, I’m not just making idle chit-chat, never let that be said. I wanted to say that as I was picking myself off the floor in Sainsbury’s, I spied nothing less than a glorious row of Longley Farm yoghurts. I have since been able to have Longley rhubarb yoghurts whenever I want, like some kind of Yorkshire yoghurt oligarch. I’ve been living a charmed life. I use a spoon now and everything.
However, sadly, I must report with a heavy heart that I am now leaving London for West Africa. Although I will enjoy the nice weather, not only will I be even more southern, but I’ll probably be even less likely to be able to get my hands on a Longley Farm yoghurt. Unless, do you sell them in Sierra Leone? If not, would you like me to setup a Longley outpost there? You might need to lend me a cow or two. Maybe shave them first, it’s quite hot out there. I’m sure Longley yoghurt would go down well. I can’t help thinking that a lot of problems could be solved by the introduction of top quality yoghurt. Then again, perhaps the heat would do the same damage as it did on your sight-seeing trip. Yoghurts might not be viable in tropical climates. Africa has so many problems.
Anyway, congratulations on getting your yogurts into Sainsbury’s. Actually, I should have written to Sainsbury’s to congratulate them. I have no doubt that in these difficult economic times, Sainsburys will now be guaranteed survival, built as it is on the sturdy yoghurt of Longley Farm.
All my regards and best wishes to the farm, the farmers, the yoghurteers and of course, to my top favourite large Jersey herd in Europe.
Aged 26 and one quarter
PS — First person I bumped into when I was in Sierra Leone recently? A girl from Uddersfield. We immediately bonded over a mutual appreciation of the natural goodness and high quality of Longley Farm yoghurts. Then we complained about the lack of draught bitter and wondered if there was anywhere we could get some decent fish and chips. It’s good to break those northern stereotypes.
To: Kieran Mitton
30th October 2008
Dear Kieran (Aged 26 and one quarter)
How time flies, it doesn’t seem two minutes since I was putting your last email on our staff noticeboard, after reading it to the cows of course. It is one of the sad facts of life that no matter how hard you try to educate some cows its futile, none of our wonderful herd of Jerseys has mastered reading, advanced mathematics — no problem, but reading — zilch.
Yes, I have heard quite a bit about Lancashire Tea and like you thought it a load of old tosh, again just copying the proud folk in the Land of Broad Acres.
So you are leaving London for Africa, well beyond the range of Longley Farm yogurts. You can always remind yourself of what you are missing by going on Facebook and joining the group Longley Farm Yogurts: a little pot of heaven. There are lots of like minded people on there and you can share your yearnings and desires with them while sitting under the hot steaming African sun.
Thanks for the congrats for getting into some Sainsbury’s, it was hell but one can’t do enough for the Longley Farm cause, that’s why I’m heading for the fields and barns on the coldest day of the year so far to pass on your records and the news you are leaving us to our lovely Jersey cows. I hope the bad news doesn’t curdle their milk or make their tears water it down.
If you emails follows their pattern we should next hear from you in two and a half years, by then you will be twenty eight and three quarters and will probably have graduated from using a spoon to a knife and fork, although being deprived of our yogurt, together with the African sun may affect the brain, have you been to a hot climate before may I ask?
Cheers, and good luck for the future — missing you already and so are the cows.
14th December 2013
Dear Longley Farm, dear the Cows,
It’s been a long, long time. Too long. I am three years late with my reply. I hope this email address still works. Two things I wanted to tell you about.
1) When I was in Sierra Leone, lost and perspiring in a thick jungle, it was often the thought of a Longley Farm yoghurt that kept me going. I suggested to a diplomat that there might be less conflict in the world if there was more Longley Farm Yoghurt, but he had an unhelpful suggestion about where I could put that suggestion. I think he was just annoyed that I thought of it first. People get very competitive about these Nobel prizes. I asked that friend from Huddersfield I mentioned to bring me out one of your yoghurts so I could help you break the untapped West African market.
But they wouldn’t let her take it on the plane. So she ate the yoghurt and brought the empty pot instead. I don’t think she tried hard enough. In fact, I suspect she made the whole thing up and her appetite just got the better of her. Fair enough. She’s only human, albeit the best kind of human — from Yorkshire.
2) I had my first Longley Farm yoghurt in years yesterday. I am pleased to find that in a world of iPhones and, well, mostly iPhones it seems, one thing remains unchanged and as quality as ever. Please pass on my thanks to the cows. Their unwavering commitment to producing top notch dairy products is a lesson to us all.
Aged 31 and 5 months
Lecturer in International Relations Department of War Studies
King’s College London
To: Kieran Mitton
16th December 2013
Welcome back to the fast and exciting World of Longley Farm Yogurt.
After reading your e-mail I was tempted to contact the UN and follow up your suggestion that Longley Farm Yogurt become a peace maker in our ever troubled World. It then occurred to me that they may want me to actually take it to the trouble spots, so on reflection I decided to just carry on attempting to spread the word into the far flung, under-developed places of the UK., places like supermarket buyers offices.
Obviously your friend from Huddersfield strongly believed in the Yorkshire adage, ‘ Ne’er do owt for nowt, an’ if tha does, do it for thee sen’.
The cows are not up here at Longley Farm at the moment, by nature being Southern softies, (Jerseys), albeit born and bred in Gods Own Country, they don’t like the cold, windy, rainy, miserable weather so loved and character forming in these parts, so we have moved them down to the warm, Southern climes of our farm in Barnsley, where they can bask in the warm breezes from the coking plant in nearby Royston.
You don’t say in your e-mail if you are back in the UK for good, or if you will be wandering off again, either way look after yourself.
I did at one time consider lecturing in international relations having family in almost every corner of the World, but with the relations with the relations not always being on good relations, I took to bringing joy, light and yogurt to others.
Thanks for your e-mail.
Aged 69 ¾
2nd August 2017
Hello Roger, hello the Cows,
Thanks so much for your reply. It’s been a little while so I don’t know if this email will reach you, but I thought now was the best time to get back to you. Like making good yoghurt, these things shouldn’t be rushed. I’m still International Relating all over the place, but I occasionally return to God’s Own Country to top-up my ability to resist the cold, not be daft, and win most of the Gold medals at the Olympics. One thing I’ve learned from all my travels is that a lot of people still need to hear the good news about Longley Farm yoghurts. Another thing is that Americans spell it yogurt, which is just lazy. And no one can make a decent brew outside of the blessed county.
I have a question for you. My friend Jonny recently rented an allotment. He lives in Manchester, so you can already tell what kind of character he is. His second big mistake was to tell me he’s going to get rid of all the rhubarb left by the previous tenant. My question for you is: is that legal? Is there anyway we can have him locked-up and all his assets seized (mainly the rhubarb)? I’m no expert, but I’m fairly sure that rhubarbicide is against the Geneva Convention. It has to be in there somewhere, and that’s the kind of thing I reckon you’d know.
I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve struggled to spell rhubarb every time. Starting to understand where the Americans are coming from now.
Roger, I hope the herd is okay and not fretting too much in these turbulent political times. I know how they like to keep on top of current affairs — please tell them from me that their generous dairy gifts are a delicious bedrock of stability in a sea of uncertainty. I trust also they are coping with the humidity of the balmy Barnsley summer, if that’s where they are still. They never write so I’m not sure (I know they’re busy with producing dairy produce, and discussing politics, so I understand). Finally, I’ll be 35 on Sunday. I think the secret to my long-life and pale, if not pallid, complexion is my regular consumption of Longley Farm rhubarb yoghurts. They should be available on the NHS. Though that might ruin your business model. Anyway, all my love to the herd, the yoghurteers, master rhubarbers and all at the finest farm in t’world.
Aged 34 and 361/365ths
Still awaiting response.