Thursday, 9 May 2013

Our first Young Farmers AGM Blackpool 2013. What an experience.

We set off on Friday, from Wootton. 50 young farmers jammed in a coach for about 4 and a half hours with no aircon and the heaters stuck on full, it didn’t sound like the best way to spend our morning, but the drinks on the way made it that more than bearable (our top tip – don’t take beer/cider, you’ll be sat there with your legs crossed desperate for the loo after an hour!) When we finally arrived in Blackpool we went straight to the hotel and met Darren, the hotel manager (who was a total LAD, his speciality: flavoured Sambuca shots– be careful). 
After chucking our bags in the room which seemed like the short straw for us us our room was at the very top of the hotel, Iona discovered she had left her purse on the bus (she has admitted she is a complete fool and her punishment came later). We then went to register and get our wristbands, which was easier said than done, when you have someone with no ID/membership card, who wasn’t on database and also had 2 other members who didn’t appear to be on the system! After talking to various helpers, everyone was registered and ready to go! We then headed out to a bar to get some drinks in before the evening do!

The first night was a black tie ball; having only seen most of our county members in casual clothes, dressing up was a nice change.  We headed down to the Winter Gardens, for what was set to be a good night. The first thing we noticed was the amount of people, more than 6,000 people ready for a good night! Aled Jones was DJing and did a great job, I ended up losing all of the Bedfordshire lot fairly early on, but ended up making some new friends from Warwickshire, who I had a great night partying with! After being reunited with everyone we headed back at the hotel, we had a well needed sleep before being woken up at 5am by what sounded like something dying outside our window. It appears seagulls in Blackpool NEVER sleep...

As we awoke on the second day to mine and Annabelle’s surprise everyone was up at 9am and already having an early morning beverage, for us having only just turned 18 we haven’t experienced university or an AGM before so we were already a step behind on how much we could consume, even though the effects from the night before were starting to hit us we did what true farmers do, we joined in; ‘the best way to cure a hangover is to carry on’.

The second night was fancy dress – Where’s Wally. It was pretty amazing to see loads of people wearing exactly the same thing, and everyone seemed far more excited – who doesn’t like a bit of fancy dress?! 
This was fine, until we lost everyone again, finding someone when everyone looks the same is far harder than finding a needle in a haystack... After a while of mingling we spotted a group of people with some fairly unorthodox dancing, this could only be one group of people – North Beds! We then spent the rest of the night having a laugh with all of them, before heading back to the hotel for another well needed sleep!

My most memorable night would probably have been the last night: Sunday, Kangaroo Court night. It started off with everyone just taking a shot of dirty pint from Henrys gun which I think he enjoyed giving more than anyone else enjoyed taking. All the AGM virgins (first timers) got called up including me and Annabelle, this got me nervous as I had no idea what to expect, luckily we only had to take a tame Sambuca shot (apparently half the shots were water and the other half were Sambuca but I didn’t believe that for a second…)

I was thinking so far so good and then I got called up and had to take my forfeit as a result of leaving my purse on the bus, making me the biggest hassle of the weekend. It started with taking a spoonful of dry instant coffee then having to eat a pickled egg filled with chili in it (bear in mind I can’t even eat plain Nandos as I find it too spicy..) It was awful; the dirty pint after seemed pleasant at this point. All I have to say that I was impressed with myself, getting it down and keeping it down.

After the kangaroo court had finished punishing everyone we all went down to the Winter Palace for the final party in our club shirts, where everyone was swapping them with different clubs as they mingled. I believe one of the best things about Young Farmers is no matter whom you are, you can talk to anyone as all of the people are so friendly. This is quite lucky for Annabelle, who if you hadn’t noticed, is pretty good at losing everyone... luckily for her she had made friends with the Welsh club that were staying at our hotel! It had been a great end to our first AGM; needless to say, all we did on the coach home was sleep!

We both completely recommended AGM to any member! It’s an experience we will never forget.  It’s one of the best ways to spend time with other members of other clubs in county, and best of all you  meet other young farmers from all over the country. Just make sure you never leave your purse on the bus, unless you don’t have a top friend like Annabelle who will pay for you for the whole weekend!

Iona Sapsed & Annabelle Bates - AGM first timers.

North Beds Head to Nationals!!

When North Beds had a cheerleading lesson for one of our club meetings little did we know that it would take us all to Blackpool!  Having had the lesson, 10 of North Beds finest, yet unlikely cheerleaders, took on the challenge of perfecting the routine for pre-rally.  
Having persuaded the boys to wear skirts and leggings (It didn’t take much!!), we headed off for pre-rally.  The county also welcomed Norfolk to the day’s event making it not only county but area round of the competition!  With the boys catching the audience’s attention with their very own version of the Hakka, we managed to win to our surprise! Buzzing with our success we were keen to show the rest of the country what North Beds and Bedfordshire were made of.  

So with a few more practices and tweaks it was time for nationals!   

Andy, Simon and I headed up with the rest of county for the AGM on Friday and were joined by the rest of the team on Sunday ready for the finals.  It was safe to say that we were under dressed and once again, probably the oldest team there!  Despite this we all put our all in and where cheered on by the rest of the county.

Sadly it was not our year and we came 10th!  However I have to say I am proud of our achievements as the North Beds give it a go attitude and giving 110% did not go unrecognized with us getting one of the highest scores for spirit.  So although we didn’t win I still stand by our chant:

North Beds are the Best, Better than All the Rest!!!

Becky Herdman, Vice Chairman

The prison dogs talk with Bedford prison

The talk was really good with Mr Brotheridge the prison dog hander giving us a demonstration of what the dogs can actually do. The meeting was an informal meeting with the speaker talking about what prison life is really like and how they always have to up there game to make sure that no drugs, alcohol and mobile phones/ sim cards are smuggled into the prison, he also talked about all the risks with being a dog handler in a prison with being followed by prisoners families and trying to hurt the dogs. It was incredible to see the dogs (Tyler and poacher) work with finding the sim and mobile which hadn’t been used in years and the battery disconnected in less than a minute. The speaker also made it interactive with using one of our members as a decoy with placing a pad with less than a milligram of a drug on it with the dog finding it straight away. All in all a total cracking meeting.
Emma (Programme sec) 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

North Beds Socials

As a club, North Beds hosts two fundraising parties, having for many years been hosted on Boxing Day and Good Friday. Some may say they are a bit of a tradition! The venues for the parties have changed over the years but over the past few they have remained the same.

Boxing Day 2012 was held at The College Equestrian Centre, Keysoe for the second year running. The night was very successful seeing close to 200 people come and support North Beds partying with us to the epic disco that DJ Steve provides.

In just over a weeks time it is that here again; the Good Friday Party, heading back to the same venue for the fourth time of course with DJ Steve. We hope to get a record amount of people coming down to Green End Farm, Great Barford for another great night. This year’s burgers won’t just be any old meat (which could potentially contain horse meat) but instead we will be using the locally produced burgers from Morgan Pell Meats so if you’re feeling peckish then dive in! £6 entry for 8pm-12am admittance on the 19th March, don’t forget ID!

Olivia Herdman – North Beds Social Officer

Pre Rally

Last weekend on a wet grotty Sunday, team North Beds headed off early to The Cottlsole School in Wing. It was pre rally and therefore time to kick off the rally season. The Pom Poms were packed, the intermediates had handfuls of baler string and the seniors had every colour of the rainbow in sugar icing. The 30 strong team of members got signed in and were ready for the mornings class. With many entires in the craft class from the rest of county the pressure was on for us all to preform to a high standard. A big well done needs to go Joanne Jordan, who's pink icing sugar flowers were brilliant and to Bridget Herdman with her lovely baler string dream catcher. After we all did some colouring in for our illustrated writing we moved on to mood boards and birthday cards. With new member and pre rally veterans we made sure the everything was entered and that everyone had fun. After a lunch came the first aid, limerick and flat pack challenge classes which had full entries. As Josh Morgan-Jones and myself stepped on to stage for the flat pack challenge we soon found the one of us was to be blind folded and asked to build a shelving unit. Josh donned the blind fold and I was to direct, which I did in classic male fashion of not reading the instructions. So unfortunately after some dodgy construction we came 6th and moved on to the Guinness challenge, a class Joe Mitchinson has been training for during most of his adult life. With Andy Bell pouring the perfect pint, Joe not spilling a drop and young josh Morgan with some speedy washing up fingers crossed for another good placing. Next Sophie Gilkes and Josh Morgan moved on to the Irish dancing which after coping the expert for a 15 minutes, North Beds had there first 1st place. Next was the my big fat YFC wedding in which Phil Draper, Bec Harris and me created a dress from recycled waste and were pleased and shocked with a second place. With fashion the theme of the next class, Iona Sapsed walked on to stage modelling a knitted jacket made by Katie Gibbs. Iona, who we all know loves a stage even did a few spins for the audience. After this came the big one, cheer leading and with a fifth team entered from Norfolk, it was now a eastern area competition. So with our skirts, leg warmers and six weeks of training under our belts 10 of the red and black army walked out on to the front of the hall. It think we can all agree it was our best performance to date and everyone gave 100%. As we wait with baited breath for the results the whole club was nervous. Then as soon as it was announced the Silsoe had come second everyone erupted in to shouts and cheers of joy. It was a brilliant day for the club and one that I know we all enjoyed. On behalf of the club I'd like to thank all the judges, stewards and organisers of the day for all your hard efforts. We look forward to seeing you all at rally.

County Photo Competition

Our first meeting of the year in the hall was choosing photos for the county photo competition - the 12 photos chosen would then go to county and compete with other clubs to get chosen to be sent to national for a calendar (they will then compete with other counties) . 
Loads of people got involved and bought along pictures for various categories (some more bizarre than others!) and it was great to see that everyone had made an effort and bought along something. 

Here are the pictures: 


Rural Life







The lighter side of farming

Country shows