Golden gathering for farm club

Essex and Suffolk Farm Women's Club committee. Back row : Beryl Golding, Pauline Mattin, Carole Cowg

Essex and Suffolk Farm Women's Club committee. Back row : Beryl Golding, Pauline Mattin, Carole Cowgill, Jane Gemmill, Nancy Bradshaw. Front row: Janet Ashcroft,Barbara Day, Tricia Gooding, Mary Chamley,Pat Kench and Chris Lord. - Credit: Archant

An organisation for women involved in the farming industry has celebrated its 50th anniversary.

A celebratory cake made by a member's daughter.

A celebratory cake made by a member's daughter. - Credit: Archant

The Essex and Suffolk Farm Women’s Club spans the age spectrum, and includes a member in her 90s. Members, which currently number around 60, meet up at least once a month to listen to speakers and enjoy a lunch or visit local places of interest, including Beth Chatto’s garden, Newmarket Stables, Angflor salad growers and Melford Hall.

“They are a wonderful group,” said contact leader Tricia Gooding. “They are all very friendly and we have a lot of laughs. We have a lot of our meetings at Assington village hall (near Sudbury) because that’s in the centre of Essex and Suffolk. Everybody mucks in. I think farmers’ wives are like this and they all bring contribution lunch and we have a fantastic time because it’s an all-day affair.”

The Assington meetings start at 10.30am with coffee and biscuits followed by a speaker, a contribution lunch and an afternoon speaker.

The celebratory evening to mark the 50th year milestone was held at Tricia’s home at Langham Lodge, Langham, near Colchester, last month. Around 50 guests enjoyed an al fresco lunch and were entertained with singing and monologues by Elaine Barker of Colchester.


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Laureen Mead, who died in 2006, started the club and ran it until 2000, when Tricia took over the reins.

It was originally supported by a farming magazine as part of a national initiative but around 2008, after that came to an end, the club decided to go it alone.

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“When I joined in 1980 I was persuaded by Laureen first to become treasurer then contact leader in 2000,” said Tricia.

The club helps establish friendship groups and allows the women to share common problems.

“I can honestly say that through this club I have been all over East Anglia and have learnt a lot about what goes on here too. Best of all I have made so many delightful friends,” said committee member Pat Kench.

“Since 2008 we have formed a committee which means we are much more organised,” she added.

“We need to be as we have over 60 members but not all of them come to every meeting. We cover a large area from Framlingham in the North, Clacton in the East, Finchingfield in the West and down to Bradwell in the South so you can appreciate all members can’t get to the venue every month.”

The next meeting of the club is on Thursday, August 20, at 10.30am at Holy Trinity Church, Melford, for a guided tour. Those taking part should bring a picnic lunch. At 1pm there will be a visit to Melford Hall, Long Melford CO10 9AA. Contact: Barbara Day on 01284 827025 or Tricia Gooding 01206 230510

The following meeting is on Wednesday, September 16, at 10.30am at Mid-Suffolk Railway, Wetheringsett IP14 5PW. Lunch can be purchased there. Friends and partners welcome. Contact Pat Kench 01728 628242 or Jane Gemmill 01379 384518

Anyone interested in joining the club should contact Tricia Gooding. Membership costs £5, and members pay a £5 contribution to take part in monthly gatherings.

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