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Essex: Young farmers make the most of the festive season

06:00 06 January 2014

Ongar Young Farmers from the Nags Head tug-of-war team on Boxing Day.

Ongar Young Farmers from the Nags Head tug-of-war team on Boxing Day.


December is one of my favourite months of the year, especially because it is one of the busiest months in the Young Farmers calendar, with plenty of parties, Christmas meals and carol singing to keep all 450 members occupied.

Firstly, we have to start with big congratulations to our life-vice president, Roy Boreham, who was honoured with an MBE. Roy is a big part of National and Essex Young Farmers life, and is known by all members for his cheery attitude and charm. For the last 40 years, Roy has been helping and encouraging young farmers to get involved with various activities and is never one to sit on the sidelines.

December has two of the biggest parties of the year, “Vallies” and our New Year’s Eve bash. Vallies is when young farmers swap tweed jackets for more “town appropriate” gear, as we head to Colchester for a party at Roberts Club. Wix Young Farmers hires out the whole club, and it is always a fantastic night out, and this year was no exception.

I had been looking forward to the New Years Eve party for months, especially as I knew how much effort was going into the organisation of it, but sadly I was struck down with illness the day before, so missed what looked like an amazing occasion. The activities committee had arranged a black tie event, with a hog roast dinner and beer and wine included, and all young farmers that attended said what a fabulous time they had had.

Boxing Day is always a good opportunity for a catch up with 
fellow young farmers, with many members attending their local hunt meets. A lot of us attend the meet at Matching Green and then go on to Moreton for the village games. This involves two teams, one from the Nags Head and the other from the White Hart, competing against each other in various activities, including an “It’s a Knock Out” style challenge and tug-of-war over the river. This year 
the White Hart were victorious, 
which left quite a few Ongar Young Farmers looking rather the worse for wear.

If the hangover from Boxing Day wasn’t bad enough, a group of around 50 young farmers (past and present) headed to Saffron Walden for a pub crawl, better known as the “Pub Shoot”. I’m sure residents of the town were surprised to see so many people in safari gear.

Colchester, Dunmow and Brentwood young farmers all hosted parties in December, and all were fantastic nights. I’ve never seen such a wide range of Christmas jumpers! Chelmsford young farmers’ also invited a few clubs to join them for a Tuesday night festive get together at The Crown in Sandon. Just a tip − best chips ever! We certainly got through a fair few bowls between us.

My club, Dunmow, decided to meet up on Christmas Eve-Eve for a few quiet drinks at the Saracens but what started as a relatively sedate evening ended up with a group of us going out in Bishops Stortford until the early hours. If that wasn’t enough, we also met up on Christmas Eve, first at the Angel and Harp in Dunmow and then the Nags Head in Moreton. This is easily the best part of Christmas, getting to see lots of young farmers from lots of clubs.

If you are aged 16 to 26, why not make a New Year’s Resolution to meet some new friends at Essex Young Farmers? To find out more, contact our friendly team at the county office on 01245 360442.

Jess Roche


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