October Meeting (Thursday 4th Oct)
At the beginning of this well attended meeting our Chairman, Mike Cook, was very pleased to announce that our membership had now reached a 100 strong. Barbara and Alison quickly delivered the club notices before we welcomed the speaker.
Our speaker this month was Joan Bomford, a local celebrity since becoming BBC’s farmer of the year in 2015 and releasing her autobiography ‘Up with The Lark.’ We have waited a long time to hear her speak as unfortunately heavy snow fall in March this year prevented our meeting going ahead when she was originally booked.
Her opening statement was ‘I am not a gardener, I don’t know about gardening’, you might think that would lead to a disappointing talk for a garden club but no! She talked about her life in agriculture and soon had the members laughing at the accounts of her escapades over the years. From helping her father on the family farm to coming to Littleton as a married woman and in addition to working on her husband’s farm there she also established a riding stables. Joan spoke about the land, farming and the changes she had lived through in her time at Moyfields Stables .South Littleton.
She shared her memories from childhood and as she talked a picture emerged of the hardworking folk and their sturdy machines that had sustained farming in the last century. Being of diminutive stature it was most surprising to hear of the tasks that presented themselves and which she embraced as part of her everyday life. Her understanding of the land and animals had not come without cost, she had sustained many injuries over the years but never been tempted to leave the farm. She is still working full time now even though she is in her 8o’s.She spoke of the effects of this exceptionally hot summer. Her fortitude when battling against the elements to provide feed for her livestock are challenges that most of us will never face and indeed might run away from. She has seen many changes both in the usage of the land and the technological developments of the machines that she worked with……… from steam through to digital age.!!!
She is such a quiet character normally that once when she turned up for a 100 mile ride over the Moors she was assigned a very docile pony but the organisers soon realised she could master anything with four legs and reassigned her a more energetic steed.
A very enjoyable, colourful and amusing speech which inspired the many questions that followed. Joan could of course answer them all with ease. One question inspired a debate about whether horses should be shod or unshod…..she was adamant that not shoeing the horses reduces the damage to the lower leg caused by shock vibrations from the metal shoes. Another question did cause concern as it raised the issue of farming in years to come. Will anyone now choose to take on the challenges of a farming life?
Joan was given a robust round of applause from the members before our tea break during which we are pleased to report that the plant swop is going from strength to strength. Some members are now ‘token’ rich .
We are all very much looking forward to the coach trip to Wisley on the 20th of October which promises to be a super day out.
Our next meeting is November the first at Bretforton Memorial hall ,7:30 start for a talk about ‘Awkward Plants’.
Everyone welcome for more information contact Barbara Jenman on 01789 720514.
Please look at the Programme page to find out more about our events.
It costs just £5 per year to be a member.
We normally meet at the Memorial Hall in Bretforton on the first Thursday of the month, but check the Programme for details.
Guests are welcome to come to meetings at £2 per head.
If you would like to get in touch, you can email us through the contact page.