Bradfield & District

Latest News from Bradfield & District

As the both the restrictions and the weather improved, Bradfield has made the most of the local area. Being unable to use Milehouse for the whole Club, Countryside walks and species identification evenings were the order of the day. We covered Englefield Estate looking at the trees we planted. We visited Rushall Farm woodland and had a pond dipping evening. It was great to just get out as a club and see each other, but also to acknowledge the amazing Countryside we have right on our doorsteps.

Pond dipping might seem somewhat childish, but there is something intriguing about what goes on underneath the surface and there is always something to see and learn, even the parents got involved.

The Club has played rounders and Kwik Cricket at Bradfield Village Hall, again making use of the local facilities where possible – we have maintained our Covid protocols, with Risk Assessments, Track and Trace records and temperature checks at arrival to meetings and of course a plentiful supply of Hand-Sanitiser.

Our members have been respectful of the process and keep us informed of their Lateral Flow test results.

We are grateful to all our members and families for their support with these elements that have become second nature on a Weds eve.

We managed a respectful second place at the County Kwik Cricket competition at the wonderful East Woodhay Cricket Club. Despite our somewhat limited experience of Cricket the members played well and it was great to see the other Clubs and Berkshire members being able to compete Face to Face. Thanks to everyone who made this happen.     

The Games continued with unmounted Prince Phillip Cup Games at Malthouse Farm, Tug of War antics caused some interest with the juniors pulling against parents – no pictures as I’m saving the images of contorted, pained expressions!

A bike ride at Greenham Common just about managed to miss the showers, but several members took the opportunity of the flooded ground to get wet anyway…

                                                                       The getting wet theme then continued as headed towards Bucklebury Ford. What started out as a game of Dodgeball in water, soon degenerated into a full-scale water fight! Of course!

Of course, it hasn’t all been fun and games. We had a fantastic farm visit and talk with Chris Webber and family at Amners Farm, learning about grass! Harvesting grass for silage, haylage and hay – Chris’s enthusiasm for grass made this an interesting and informative evening. It was great to see what goes into a contracting set-up of this size and the investment and commitment that it requires – and yet to understand that it all relies on the British weather, makes you realise what a knife-edge farmers are working on.

Our members have been busy behind the scenes too. Training and practicing for the virtual National Finals that have been taking place over the last couple of weekends. Multiple evenings have been spent with the members on Zoom or Teams.

Hannah Walters represented Berkshire in Senior Member of the Year, and although not placed is to be congratulated on making it to the National Finals. The Junior Speakers, Zoe, Aine and Stephen gave a fabulous account of themselves, and despite a wobble moment, came an excellent 5th overall as a team against some excellent opposition it really does come down to some very fine margins at this level. Stephen showed that Berkshire really area force to be reckoned with in winning the overall Best Speaker award. A fabulous result and thoroughly well deserved.

The Debating team was quite fluid in its composition, with Becky stepping back in to cover Jess who was committed to her new job. Hannah, Michael, Summer, Becky were joined by Henry and worked hard to research and probe the motions to be proposed and opposed as they formulated their arguments and predicted what the other teams would say and argue. It goes without saying that National Finals are a massive step up, but the team acquitted themselves well, and despite Henry’s last-minute attempt to pull-out (breaking your collar bone does not get you out of Public Speaking I’m afraid!), they all learnt a lot and as always, should be proud of their achievements. Thanks to the team for their commitment and to Wendy Webber for her tremendous support.

We are working to support our Area Stockjudgers and Ben and Josh joined W&M YFC at Sparsholt for the Area men’s football on what was the hottest day of the year so far. Well done to them. As we wind up for the year we are hurriedly trying to support and address the Rally classes, members will compete in Country Spotters and we will try and put on some sort of ‘camp-out’ at the end of August, before starting all over again in September.

Thank you to our committee, members, parents and supporters for making it another memorable year, despite the restrictions and the loss of many opportunities, it’s still been a busy and eventful year.

Gordon Fletcher (Bradfield YFC)

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