Mary Bell New Under 30s Chairman

New Farmers Club Under 30s chairman for 2016 is Mary Bell, who provides an update of recent activities and ideas plans for the future 

Mary Bell 

I am delighted to have been elected Chairman of the U30s for 2016. I would firstly like to thank John Jaques for all of his hard work throughout the past year. I am sure my fellow U30 members would agree that John ensured 2015 was an exceptional year, including the Farm Walk on the Isle of Wight and hearing from James Thompson, Farm Director for Sir James Dyson. Of course, none of this would have been made possible without the hugely reliable and efficient support provided by Lisbeth Rune, the U30s secretary. 

I joined the Farmers Club when I moved to London in 2010 and I’m extremely glad I did! At almost every event I have met someone new, it continues to give me the opportunity to meet like-minded people from similar backgrounds, and the Club really is a home from home and a welcomed sanctuary away from the fast-paced buzz of London.

I grew up on a farm in Leicestershire; from a young age I have hunted with the Cottesmore in Rutland, and often get involved in the special events organized by the Addington fund in London. I work as PA to Lord Malloch-Brown in Piccadilly, London. 

U30s Event 


Looking ahead into 2016, following our New Members event at the East India Club, we are yet to confirm a date for the Spring Dining Event, due to Project CREST, but this will be scheduled at the end of March or early April, as we hope to be able to host this at the Club. I have several ideas for Farm Walks and Speakers and look forward to sharing news of our plans and event reports in future issues. 

Contact for more information:

Mary Bell
Under 30s Chairman
07538 082517 
2016 Committee

We are very pleased to announce that Charlotte Harris has been elected U30s Vice Chairman. Charlotte grew up on a mainly arable farm near Dedham, Essex, which also had a dairy farm and a rare breeds farm, which was open to the public. She moved to London almost five years ago and currently manages the supply chain for a startup food brand based in Westminster.

At our AGM we also welcomed three new members to the U30s Committee; Alexandra Day (InterClub Rep), Eleanor Kay and Hannah Moore. They have joined Mary Bell (Chairman), Charlotte Harris (Vice Chairman), John Jaques (Immediate Past Chairman), Bradley Etchell, Jonny Hawking, Scott Hayles, Eleanor Kay, Emily McVeigh and Kathryn Mitchell who make up the team for 2016.

We would like to thank Holly Adams (Inter-Club representative), Beth Hockham (U30s Chairman in 2014) and Jake Pickering, who stepped down from the U30s Committee at our AGM, for all their efforts and contributions to the U30s over the past years.

Worshipful Company of Farmers 

In January John Jaques and Mary Bell were kindly invited, along with their partners (Fiona Norman and Chris Tait), to attend The Worshipful Company of Farmers Annual Banquet as guests of the Company's current Master Thomas Wheatley-Hubbard. Held in The Clothworkers Hall it was a privilege for the Chairman and his Vice to represent the U30s at this prestigious dinner and get dressed up in White Tie, fully immersing themselves in the traditions of the event; such as The Loving Cup whilst singing The Farmers Boy. A special thank you goes to Mr Wheatley-Hubbard and all those that welcomed John and Mary on what was a truly memorable evening!

February New Members Event 

For a change, and due to the Project CREST Works, the first Under 30s event of the year (The New Members Weekend) started with a drinks reception and white/black tie dinner at The East India Club (St James' Square) on the Friday night, writes John Jaques, Immediate Past Chairman of the Under 30s.

Although it wasn't 'home' The East India Club did a fantastic job of looking after us and provided an opportunity to explore another Club with similar history, size and traditions to The Farmers Club – however the average age of their members was 41. 

The dinner was sold out with 80 people attending, which provided an opportune moment to reflect on the highlights of 2015 and introduce the U30s Committee for 2016, along with other AGM key points. Some points of note were the introduction of The U30s logo, representation at main Club events (such as the Pinnacle Awards, Harvest Festival and New Years Eve) and very inspiring speakers and farm walk hosts across 2015.

Mary Bell WCF Jaques WCF


Gratitude and thanks were shown to Lisbeth Rune, who attended the evening with her husband Phil as welcomed guests, for all the work she had done for us over the past year; and were extended to those who were stepping down from the Committee for all they had contributed.

On the Saturday morning the U30s AGM was held in The Forty Room. With standing room only this was followed by a presentation about the 2016 Oxford Farming Conference by Farmers Club OFC Scholar Will Wilson.

Will provided an in depth and exciting account of the Conference from a Scholar's perspective and informed the group of his key take home messages from each session. 

A buffet lunch was served before going to the Duchess Theatre to watch 'A Play that Goes Wrong' which had deservingly earned the Olivier Award for 'Best New Comedy' in 2015. Luckily the U30s weekend went according to plan unlike the Play with in this manic Comedy.

The Saturday evening provided another chance to dine with friends, new and old, however this time in a pop-up restaurant in the tunnels under Waterloo Station. 45 people descended on The Suffolk Punch at 'VAULT Festival', which U30s Committee member Emily McVeigh had organised as restaurant manager. It was great to support The Suffolk Punch restaurant which is a collaboration between the festival and Suffolk Young Producers to bring the best Suffolk produce to subterranean London.

I particularly enjoyed this weekend as an opportunity to; reflect on the past year, hand over the Chairman's role and wish good luck to Mary and Charlotte and hear what exciting things are planned for 2016.

From the weekend I would like to record my thanks to everyone for their support over the past, and letting me represent The Club and The U30s at a vast array of events over the past two years. Notably I must mention Lisbeth for all her help at HQ, Mary as a great support and my partner Fiona for her patience too. And finally a special thank you goes to my employers Bidwells, who have offered great support, encouragement and allowed me to embrace this opportunity to the full!

The weekend ended with a toast to The Queen, The Farmers Club and The Future of The U30s – which I can assure you is in great hands to build on our ever growing support and good industry-wide reputation.