County Presidents Message
When I became a member of Newbury Young Farmers more than 50 years ago little did I realise that one day I would have the honour of becoming your County President. The last year has been busy and although I have not been able to attend every event I have enjoyed meeting many of you.
For those of us who have been involved with Berkshire YFC for a long time we
have seen many changes, the County boundary moved and some of the Berkshire Clubs are now in Oxfordshire. Some clubs have closed and the average age of our membership has fallen so we have a lot of Junior members. but the one thing that hasn’t changed is the enthusiasm and fantastic environment for our members that YFC provides. As we are an organisation who pride ourselves on being run by the members for the members we must continue to join together for competitions, social events and at County meetings to discuss and enjoy the future. As a County, we are lucky enough to have Georgie who not only keeps the office ticking over but brings a breath of fresh air out in the field. I have been inspired working alongside your County Chairman Katherine, who has
brought stability and support to all the members.
One of the most memorable events this year was the 70th Anniversary Dinner Dance at Newbury Racecourse. It was lovely to be able to catch up with so many past and present members. Many thanks to Alethea for organising a very successful evening enjoyed by young and old.
Throughout the year the County competitions such as Public Speaking, Quiz and Sports ensures that members meet from all clubs and have fun as well as learn.
The Country Fayre, is our largest event of the year and it ensures that we have the ability to showcase the members talents in competitions as well as raising valuable funds for the county. To this end I have been able to help the small committee to organise the Berkshire Country Fayres for several years the last of which was the most successful yet. The venue in Englefield Deer Park was perfect, for which we must thank The Benyon Family and the Estate. Once again we put in an order for sunshine with which we were blessed. Congratulations Bradfield, Gordon, who organised the competitions and to all who took part on the day. Many of these were thoroughly enjoyed by the crowds which we believe were in access of 5,000.
Some of the winners went on to represent Berkshire at South East Area and National competitions. Well done to you all. As always it’s the taking part that really matters, winning is a treat. For the County with the smallest membership in the Country we take part and achieve in so many ways.
The National Members week which took place in September was a success and I understand all the clubs have increased their membership numbers since last year. Well done to you all for organising such a successful week.
It is with great sadness that Reading Young Farmers has had to close but we hope one day someone will come along with the enthusiasm to lead a new group of members and re open the club.
We are very excited that a new club has opened. Windsor and Maidenhead have been formed and hold their meetings at the Berkshire College of Agriculture. We look forward to welcoming their members to County events and competitions.
As always, Young Farmers relies on volunteers to help run clubs and the county and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all. I hope in the coming year we continue to thrive, have fun, learn and achieve.
Lydia Bendall- BFYFC President