A FIFTH-GENERATION flour miller has achieved the highest score in the country at her flour milling exams.

Emily Munsey from Wessex Mill in Wantage has been awarded a prize for achieving the top grade this year from the National Association of British and Irish Millers (NABIM).

Having passed all seven flour milling examinations over the past two using a long-distance learning programme, she was presented with her award by NABIM president George Marriage at an event on March 13.

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Ms Munsey, who is 26 and lives in nearby East Challow, said: “It was really nice to go up to London and have it presented at the NABIM national headquarters.

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Miss Munsey being presented with her award by George Marriage.

“It’s the best result in the UK, so it definitely felt like a big deal.”

The exams cover subjects including warehouse management, cleaning types of wheat and health and safety.

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They normally take between four and seven years to complete, but Miss Munsey crammed them into just two years.

Her success comes hot on the heals of Wessex Mill’s massive win at last year’s UK-wide Great Taste Awards.

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The company was presented with a total of 12 accolades, 11 for individual products but also the overall Producer of the Year crown.

The Munsey family have been milling Oxfordshire for more than 100 years.

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Their association with the county began in 1895 when William Henry Munsey came to Oxford after his farming business in Cambridge was devastated by foot-and-mouth disease.

He worked initially as a forage manager, but in 1898 went into partnership with Archer Cowley and took over Osney Mill.

His sons Ellis and Keith took over the business in 1928.

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During the Second World War the family enjoyed one of their busiest periods, when the destruction of big mills in London, Liverpool and other cities saw Osney Mill running 24-hours-a-day, week-in, week-out.

Just weeks after the war ended in 1945 the mill was destroyed by a fire and, rather than rebuild, the family decided to buy a mill in Wantage which produced flour for biscuits.

Alterations were made so that it could also produce flour for bread, and the Wantage mill was soon supplying leading companies like Cadbury’s, Farleys, Mars, United Biscuits and the Co-op.

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Today, in the hands of the founder’s great-grandson Paul Munsey and his daughter Emily, the firm supplies more than 150 bakers, 500 independent food stores and exports to places as far flung as Dubai, Hong Kong and Hungary.

And, despite all the recent success, Miss Munsey said the team at Wessex were going to carry on producing their award-winning flours just as they always have.