The Farmers Club offered its members a tremendous range of events over the Summer of 2019, including social events in the capital and beyond, plus the very successful Club to Country initiative, which engaged with almost 7% of the membership at agricultural shows across the UK.
The Club to Country programme of outreach was sanctioned by the Club’s Committee some years ago and we have tried to adapt it to make it different, informative and enjoyable, using dinners, breakfast meetings and receptions, along with the infrastructure provided by the agricultural shows themselves, to achieve our goal of getting out of London to meet the membership on their ‘home ground’, as it were.
This year eight events involved breakfast, reception and dinner events across the UK, involving 353 members, representing 6.6% of the Club’s membership. This was very much consistent with last year’s figures, allowing for the inclusion of some smaller shows this year.
Royal Balmoral Show
On the eve of the Royal Balmoral Show our pre-show dinner was attended by 50 members and guests in central Belfast.
Royal Cornwall Show
A reception at the showground involved 37 members, who heard from Johnathan Jones, Managing Director Trading, Tregothnan Estates.
Royal Three Counties Show
This year’s lead county was Herefordshire (also the Chairman’s home county). The Countess of Mar delivered a very thoughtful speech to 27 hardy souls in less than ideal weather conditions.
Royal Cheshire Show
A Club breakfast for 25 members heard from speaker Keith Siddorn, who gave a fascinating insight into his farming operation at Broxton, covering conservation, rare breeds and educational outreach to the community.
Royal Highland Show
A pre-show dinner at the New Club in Edinburgh, one of our reciprocal clubs, saw 92 members enjoy a memorable talk from Professor Heather McGregor, Executive Dean of the Edinburgh Business School.
Kent County Show
At the President’s lunch we heard a very thoughtful and insightful speech from Lord Gardiner of Kimble, before our own reception for 42 members with Mr Frazer Thompson, CEO of Chapel Down, as our guest speaker.
Great Yorkshire Show
A reception for 38 members and guests heard from our guest speakers Rob and Heather Copley, who provided a really fascinating insight on their business and land diversifications, on a farm that was unsustainable in that form alone.
Royal Welsh Show
The show was celebrating its centenary year. Club Chairman Nick Helme hosted a late afternoon reception for 42 members, with Dr David Llewellyn, Vice Chancellor of Harper Adams University as our speaker on the increasing use of technology within farming. We also heard briefly from a representative of the ‘Farms For City Children’ Charity who do much good work in Wales and throughout the UK.
The Club also hosted a variety of social events. In early August Club Administrator Anita Kaur took 40 members to Tate Britain to see the Van Gogh exhibition. As has become the norm with these hugely popular events, members gathered in the Farmers Suite to hear a lecture from our expert, Anne Haworth, before settling down for lunch and then going on to the exhibition itself. Another very successful and informative trip for all.
Earlier in July some 20 club members attended the Royal Opera House Covent Garden to see a production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. A superb performance was preceded by a fabulous supper in the Club and followed by a swift jaunt back to the Club Bar to ‘critique’ what had been witnessed. A superb evening had by all, with more than a few ‘first-timers’ to the Royal Opera House.
August events in London
Three very successful ‘Friday’ events were staged in London during August, comprising a visit to the underground Postal Museum followed by a Thames cruise with traditional British afternoon tea; a canal boat cruise on Regents Canal with five-course lunch followed by a visit to the Beefeater Gin Distillery in Kennington and supper in the Farmers Suite afterwards; and a tour of Greenwich and the Meantime Brewery. All proved highly successful and were very much enjoyed by members.
Other Summer Club events included:
- Eltham Palace & Gardens
- Chelsea Flower Show
- Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
- Henley Royal Regatta ‘finals’ day
- Beating of the Retreat
For more information on all the Club’s events see the Events page of our website – www.thefarmersclub.com/events
To become a member of the Club, visit our Membership page - www.thefarmersclub.com/membership