175th Anniversary Dinner
Pictures of this event can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/farmersclublondon/albums/72157661562307757
On Friday 8th December, the Club was full of members who had congregated to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Club. Although technically we were celebrating 24 hours early (the first meeting of the Club took place on December 9th 1842), this provided no impediment for 85 people to assemble for a historically themed five course dinner (more to follow in the January Journal from Head Chef and Director of Food, Paul Hogben) to celebrate our formation. The evening started with Champagne and Chef’s treats in a ‘buzzing’ members Lounge before being called forward into the Farmers Suite for dinner.
An excellent meal ensued and each attendee was also given a commemorative box of chocolates, commissioned especially for the occasion from Elliotts of Oxford (I am told they were exceedingly good!!).
At the end of dinner, our Chairman, Mr Tim Bennett, gave a speech chronicling briefly the Club’s varied history, highlighting the fact that at the beginning, the Club was far from apolitical in its stance, hugely connected to the formation of the National Farmers Union and had a largely peripatetic base for the first 100 years of its existence before becoming rooted in Whitehall Court some 75 years ago.
He also drew out the fact that through good times and bad, a constant feature of the Club and its development has been to embrace evolutionary change throughout the generations, and it was this that had placed the Club in the good position it currently enjoys.
Tim then went on to introduce our guest of honour, speaker and fellow Club member, Lord Taylor of Holbeach, Chief Government Whip in the House of Lords. Lord Taylor put the context of the history of the Club alongside his own farming experience through the bulb growing business that he was born into, his political career and some comments on the future of the country and farming post BREXIT. The speech was very warmly received and culminated in our Chairman presenting Lord Taylor with a pair of Farmers Club engraved goblets.
On completion of the dinner, members retired back to the Bar and Lounge to continue their conversations and debates. Judging by the noise generated and the feedback that we received in the immediate aftermath of the dinner, I would say that our Anniversary event was a huge success and enjoyed by all.