by Phillida Hurn
Our Club year started at the AGM in a classroom at Easton College on January 26th, where we have had our club meetings for several years, this however has become rather expensive to hire, so now we have our meeting at different venues.
We had quite a change round at the AGM as Carolyn Gay our Chairman and Denis Mitchell our Secretary both stood down, so Paul Clements as Vice Chairman was voted in as Chairman, and for some unknown reason they appointed myself as Secretary + Treasurer!!
We all thanked Carolyn and Denis for all their hard work over the years.
Our second club meeting in March was held at Easton College, as we had Mr Andrew Charlton from the College giving us a very interesting talk on Beef Bench Marking and his computer program.
Our club members have been very successful at shows all over the country, so much so I would be writing forever to mention them all, but well done! The outstanding one must be our Chairman, Paul Clements, and his success with his great cow Darsham Kit Kat at all the County shows, also winning all three Royals’, doing so much to promote the Simmental breed.
Another thank you to Paul Clements and his family for all the help in providing the delicious food at the Suffolk Show, also to Hilly Morgan-Evans for providing equally good food at the Norfolk Show.
We then went on to have our summer meeting on the 22nd July here at Beck Farm looking at the Twyford Simmental herd, and then on to Hall Farm (home of my son Eddie and daughter-in-law Hilly Morgan-Evans) for a BBQ, this was well attended by all, with the feeling that everyone enjoyed themselves, thanks for coming!
Then on the 11th August a small group left for a weekend in Southern Ireland and what a great success it was!! We did have 12 booked but unfortunately we had 4 drop out for medical reasons, which was very sad.
In the group were Paul and Valerie Clements, Tom and Diane Randall, Steve and Lorrayne Blomfield (from the South East Club) and Tony and myself. We had a good flight over to Ireland from Stansted, arriving in time to visit the Bull Performance Test Station, plus the Irish Race Horse National Stud, which was next door.
We then went on to stay at the Ormond Hotel in Kilkenny, which was extremely comfortable with very good food. The next day we had a walk round Kilkenny and did a bit of shopping. Then our very nice bus driver Paul, who looked after us all extremely well, drove us to Waterford where we visited the famous glass factory. Next on to see John and Theresa Murphy’s very good pedigree and commercial cattle perched on the cliff tops and what a lovely view! Theresa very kindly fed us, so we were all ready for the evening Racing Festival at Tramore. It was a lovely evening’s racing! Some of us won money and some lost!
As we had done quite a lot of travelling, we decided our herd visit programmed for Cork was rather a long way, so we missed that and visited a stable yard instead, where Paul Clements owned a lovely show jumping horse, who we saw loose jumped in the school. We also looked round some of the other twenty odd horses.
Then on to the Brinkley family, Gerard and David showed us their very good herds of Simmental and Charolais cattle, plus a few mares and foals etc., but best of all was the beautiful home made bread and smoked salmon!! Provided by the family.
Next on to Garrett Behan to see his good cattle, we were running a bit late by now, but he was pleased because he had been washing about ten animals for the next day’s show, again his mother had very kindly laid on delicious sandwiches and the best ever apple pie, but I think we were all wondering how we were going to eat supper!!! This was not a problem as we arrived at our new hotel in Tullamore, too late for a meal, they had finished cooking!
Then Sunday was the great Tullamore Show, this is the largest one day show in Europe, we all walked the two to three miles from our hotel to the show and back, but it was well worth the walk it was fantastic! So many very good cattle of all breeds, horses, and many more.
Then Monday homeward bound, but on the way to the Airport, we visited the National Beef Bull Stud at Enfield, this was very interesting. We saw very good Simmental bulls, one very nice one called Naughty. We also visited John Connaughton’s large Simmental herd and saw lots of young bulls plus a donkey and some lovely flat racing brood mares and foals. We all had a VERY nice time!
Our thoughts are with the Clements family with the sad loss of Paul’s father Albert Clements in October.
We have had just one meeting since our Irish trip, this was held at the Marsham Arms, on 19th October, which included a very nice meal. We had a good turn out and lots of discussion about the way forward with the Simmental breed in our area. It was also decided to have a Christmas party for club members in The Clifftonville Hotel at one of their Dinner Dances in December.
I would like to thank all our members for their support, and hope we have an even more enjoyable and successful year in 2006.