Each year at Newbury YFC is different, and the programme includes a mix of traditional rural and agricultural activities, sport, art, life and vocational skills as well as competitions that develop the public speaking talents and stockjudging for which YFC members have become renowned. The more formal meetings are held at The Waterside Centre, Northbrook Street, Newbury RG14 1DS, with the majority being held away from Newbury on farms and in the countryside. Meetings normally start at 7.15pm and end at 9pm on alternate Wednesdays but this can vary especially when we are out and about.

We also help to organise, alongside other Clubs in the County on a rota-basis, Pre-Show and the Country Fayre show-classes, our Members prepare for and take part in Club, County, Area and National Competitions and also volunteer at events like LEAF Open Farm Sunday, Foxglove Care Farm charity day and the Newbury & District Agricultural Society ploughing match.

You don’t need anything in particular to join us, and don’t worry if you’re not a farmer or know anything about farming. As long as you have a love for the countryside and wear sensible clothes/footwear and don’t mind getting dirty, then you can join in straight away!

Take a look at our 2022/23 News (below) to give you an idea of what we get up to, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Newbury & District YFC 2022/23 News

By Emma Collins, Club Leader

Again, we’ve had a busy year!

 In the blink of an eye the summer break was over and the Welcome Back Club Evening had members discussing new programme ideas and signing up on the new NFYFC digital membership scheme which was, to say the very least, a challenge (luckily not so this year!)

The next meeting our members went hunting, via cryptic clues, around the farm to find all the scarecrows we made the previous year and finished the evening with a sausage sizzle which is always popular!

We then had a busy few weeks, with a range of activities which included a great night of learning how to pistol shoot, a fun evening of playing games and getting to know each other better, a public speaking/reading training evening so that we can get some strong teams off to the competition in January and an evening of climbing which was greatly enjoyed by all ages of the club!

As usual, we made Christmas Wreaths as our main charity fundraiser.

Our Ready Steady Cook evening produced some great results. We are always amazed at how creative members are at producing a dish, in a barn on just one gas ring – this is true YFC spirit. Little did our members know that the prize was to make up a team for the Pre Show cookery competition!

We had a great visit to Kingsclere Estates The Roaming Dairy. Unfortunately, the weather was terrible so we didn’t actually get to see the mobile dairy unit, but we spent time with the calves and heard all about how the business operates.

The Pre-Show came around quickly and, despite best efforts, we didn’t get to practise stockjudging as much as we wanted this year. However, our members did a great job in sharing their knowledge with each other. This proved to be a great success as we had an amazing 15 members take part and we got some very credible results on the day. So much so that 3 of our members were put forward to compete in the Berkshire team at Ardingly in June. Well done Connie, Flo & Sophie.

Needless to say, all of our efforts soon turned to building our float and show classes ready for the Country Fayre. Our float was spectacular thank you to so many that helped with this. It was true team spirit, with members, parents and supporters all pulling together to put on a great show.

It was Newbury’s turn to organise the show classes, so a big thank you to all of our Vice Presidents and supporters who helped us put classes together and judge on the day. We could not have put on such a great display without your help, thank you.

Members did incredibly well and for the first time in a long time, we managed to take a lot of silverware home – a total of 6 cups some of which you can see displayed on our club boards tonight. Special mention to Ethan who not only got highest Intermediate/Senior individual, but also highest individual points overall. Well done Ethan – it really does prove that the more you put in and the more classes entered, the more likely it is to be able to win some cups.

After the dust settling from the show, we got back to normal meetings. We visited The Wild Flower Turf Company in Overton and were shown around by host James Hewetson-Brown.

The farm diversified in 1982 from traditional crops into turn production pioneering a soil-less growing system. They work closely with many high-profile companies producing wildlife-friendly turf for the likes of Kew Gardens, Nothe Fort, Alder Key Children’s Hospital and even Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park!

Our second visit this year to Kingsclere Estates, hosted by Tim May and this time we had a trailer ride around the estate looking at organic crops, Heritage wheat and their mobile dairy unit which we were unable to see on our last visit.

The What3Words Safari on Greenham Common, proved to be a useful exercise in getting members to be able to successfully navigate via the app. A life skill learned and lots of fun to boot!

Another new skill for our members was an evening spent with the Hungerford Archers. We have some really good bowmen amongst the members and parents alike! 

A visit to Frith Farm Dried Herbs in Wheathold was another interesting evening. They specialise in growing specific varieties of herbs for the culinary and herbal tea market.

The annual County Country Spotters competition took place, and we fielded a few teams. A quote from one of our members is that it is “a great opportunity to go for a lovely walk through the countryside and learn about the flora and fauna around us”. Spot on, and thank you to Gordon for organising another successful county comp.

As usual we finished our evening with a family BBQ and some sporting fun at Manor Farm, Brimpton kindly hosted by Michael & Mandy Bowden before our break for the summer.

Our membership has remained constant and have nearly 100% attendance at all meetings.

We are now seeing an increase in our older age members which means we don’t miss out on competing in all age categories. We have had 3 new members already since September with a couple more just about to join. Sadly, we have lost Sophie, Connie & Grace to university this year but are pleased that that have joined and will come back to see us when they can, especially County Fayre time!

We would like to thank all our parents, VPs, Advisory and supporters for the tremendous help we have had this year. We have a club to be very proud of. Watch out Berkshire YFC – Newbury is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with!

Newbury & District Photo Gallery