Newbury & District

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 2021/22 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 2021/22 News

By Emma Collins, Club Leader

We’ve had a busy year!

With most of the covid restrictions lifted, we were able to get back in the swing of organising a full year of face-to-face meetings again. We are so lucky to be able to meet regularly at Little Wyford Farm which enables us to continue to practise social distancing as required.

We started our year in September with a walk with Sandhurst & Aldershot Beagles at Hannington which is always a lot of fun with the excitable, noisy dogs. There was a first for us at our AGM where we held a hybrid meeting. We were joined online by some, and others were with us in the hall at The Waterside Centre, Newbury. Amazingly the technology all worked well! This was the first time we have used the new facility and will be using it as our base in Newbury. It was a great evening of club reports and was fantastic to be able to award our cups again having not done so the previous year due to the covid restrictions and lack of competitions in 2020. It is always lovely to be able to share our successes with our members, their families, our VP’s, and supporters.

October was a crafty month where we did glass decoration making with ‘The Glass Duck’ and of course no October programme would be complete without Pumpkin Carving.  Sharon Stanley came to us and we had a fabulous fun games evening, and we even had a snowball fight! Members now a little more about each other than they did before.

Our aim with organising meetings for our members is to give them as many different experiences as possible, and this year is no exception. We organised an evening pheasant plucking which most of our members have never had a go at before. Our thanks to Dudley Cooke, one of our VPs who was on hand to show our members the finer skills of plucking and then also how to prepare it for cooking. December held our traditional fundraising evening making Christmas wreaths. This year our wreaths also included some spent cartridges and some pheasant feathers saved from the previous meeting. Also, this month Nick & Flo Waite represented the club delivering parcels for the NWN Over 80’s parcel fund and there was a great write up in the papers.

January is usually a quiet month, but we managed the last in the series of animal identification evenings via Zoom with Alan. This time it was horse & pig identification. We also went bike riding in the dark at Greenham Common!

February We are lucky to have such great support around us    and our VP’s are no exception. We had a great evening making sheep (our mascot) at a clay workshop at ‘Blue Beetle Ceramics’ hosted by Lorna Matejicek. There were some fabulous results. Our efficiency judge Clare Killen even had a go! Of course, we had to have a pancake and highest flip competition. Lucky it was held in the barn as great heights were achieved!

March was all about the stock in preparation for the Pre-Show competitions. We visited Strattons Farm for a lambing evening hosted by Nick Waite and had a beef stock judging practice with Jono Cooper at Mike Bowden’s giving us some valuable tips.           

April It was Newbury’s turn to host the Pre-Show Competitions this year. What a belter of a day! Our thanks go to Mike & Mandy Bowden for hosting our event, and all of our judges and stewards. Not forgetting also our stock suppliers. Without this support, we would not be able put on such a great event. We were delighted with the entries from all clubs, especially in the stockjudging where we had 44 entrants! 1 cookery team, 2 fencing and 13 Clay shooting. It was lovely to see Berkshire Young Farmers out in force after such a long time.

There was major excitement in May with the return of the Country Fayre, so we held weekly meetings building the float, working on exhibition entries and sign painting for the show. Members enjoyed the day, and many rosettes were awarded. We didn’t quite get any of the silverware, but watch out next year Bradfield, we are on your tail!

We were lucky to visit Foxglove Care Farm who are our nominated charity for this year. It was a lovely evening hosted by Kathe and Simon Davies.

June – we had a fantastic visit to Rose Farm Shetlands and Alpacas in Winterbourne which is owned by Harry & Tom Frampton-Harris. Harry was a past member of Newbury YFC, and it was great to get in touch again. It was a gloriously sunny evening and we heard how they started from scratch and built up their business. It certainly was interesting to see the diversity of animals from horses, sheep, chickens and ducks to pigmy goats, alpacas, and pigs!

Following on from the success of last year, we organised another Novelty Assault Course at Little Wyford Farm. Thank you again to Michael & Jenny for hosting and setting up the course and to Carli for all the fun games. Of course, we finished our year with our family BBQ & rounders evening at Manor Farm, Brimpton, kindly hosted by Michael and Mandy Bowdon.

Our membership has swelled this year with nearly 100% attendance at all meetings, which we are very proud about. We have lost a couple during this time, due mainly to school and other commitments, but we have a couple waiting in the wings for our new year to start in September. Safe to say Newbury YFC is going from strength to strength!

We would like to thank all our parents, VP’s, Advisory and supporters for the tremendous help we have had this year. We really couldn’t do it without you.

Newbury & District Photo Gallery