Former Suffolk Young Farmers blow off cobwebs with Viking-style retrospective

Len Woolf - ex county chair, Ipswich YFC founder with the Viking hat and horn

Len Woolf - ex county chair, Ipswich YFC founder with the Viking hat and horn - Credit: Archant

This has been a brilliant month for young farmers with the activities coming thick and fast, writes Suffolk Young Farmers co-ordinator Tory Lugsden.

Junior Bake Off - Gipping Valley members with their amazing swiss roll and sugar work

Junior Bake Off - Gipping Valley members with their amazing swiss roll and sugar work - Credit: Archant

We started November with our annual Junior Ball. A fantastic night with 54 junior members all dolled up and ready to party. It took me somewhat by surprise to start the disco with a YFC traditional Oops Upside Ya Head which, in my world, was always the finish to an evening but not being one to question the modern ways I managed to join in! (well show them how it was done!). Delicious hog roast and chocolate cake kept the juniors fed and watered, so much so that one Alde Valley member’s tooth fell out which he handed to me in a tissue then asked for another piece of cake! Well done to Izzy our junior fieldworker for organising a great night once again.

Friday night, following many visits to the YFC loft and its bat population, the office was decked out with all manner of retro photos. From 1950s poultry trussing photos, to the massive Viking Ships display in the Suffolk Show ring in the 1960s, the 70s parties and Miss Suffolk YFC contenders, the 80s buggy racing inventions, the 90s with the very short shorts and lots of football competitions and the noughties with “that” calendar. Over 70 ex members gathered for an evening of cheese, wine and reminiscing and a great evening was had by all who attended, so much so that a repeat event is being planned for the spring. It was a huge surprise to the see the ex Ipswich members donning their Viking hats once again for the evening and Len Woolf even managed to bring out his horn to salute the members. Thanks to generous donations from local businesses a raffle was held on the evening, along with an auction of cheese, to raise funds for the Charlotte Cobbald Memorial fund raising in the region of £300.

This Sunday was our inaugural Suffolk Young Farmers Bake Off competition. With huge thanks to Emma from Taste Academy, Ipswich the clubs took their baking very seriously. In-house baker extraordinaire and county chair, Angharad Bendall, set the rules with the clubs set to produce a showstopper decorated swiss roll and a technical challenge in the form of a lemon meringue pie. The quality of bakes and attention to detail was truly astounding and the levels of expertise in the bakers, especially the juniors, was brilliant and took me quite by surprise. Obviously there were a few minor mishaps, with Bea and Harry from Stowmarket YFC forgetting to add the flour into their red velvet swiss roll, Katie and Emily from Brett Valley YFC adding the egg whites as well as the yolk to their lemon curd which resulted in some spectacular lumps and James from Debenham YFC’s advice from his mum (apparently) that he didn’t need baking parchment on his swiss roll tin gave the washer upper (me!) some serious work to do in the sink. Huge well done to the super organised Hadleigh team of Elaine and Emma on their amazing creations and taking the senior title, and to the Brett Valley team of Beth and Anna and the Gipping Valley team of Harry and Julie for the joint junior win.

And so to December. This weekend we have our county public speaking competitions, followed swiftly by the very first Young Farmers Nativity which will be a fantastic start to Christmas. We would like to wish all of our members, supporters and sponsors a very happy, healthy and fun filled Christmas and look forward to 2015 for what we hope will be a great year for all.

Junior Ball - all members at the Junior ball

Junior Ball - all members at the Junior ball - Credit: Archant