National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

06 May 2011

A group of YFC members from Kirkham in Lancashire swapped mucky rubber boots for pristine rugby shirts this week to help promote the forthcoming National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs annual convention being hosted at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

Joel Speirs, Alison Moul, James Melling, Chris Bartlett and Lora Fryars – are all greatly looking forward to the event which is expected to attract over 4,000 members of YFCs from across the county.

They gathered outside the recently restored Winter Gardens complex alongside a gleaming 7.5 tonne tractor, which had come from Hale Hall farm in Treales.

Chris Bartlett, chairman of Kirkham YFC, said of the forthcoming event: “It’s fantastic that whole of the UK farming industry will get a taste of Blackpool life and our famous Lancashire hospitality this weekend. I’m really proud that the convention has returned to my home town, and we can’t wait to welcome our colleagues from across the country and help show them a good time.”

Lora Fryars, Kirkham YFC club secretary, added: “One thing many people don’t grasp about this event is how many young farmer groups there are in the UK. For example in Lancashire we are one of 19 clubs, and each one has its own independent management committee, membership structure and programme of local activities.

“The annual convention gives each individual club the opportunity to meet and debate the key issues that will affect all our futures within the rural economy and make decisions that will impact on the future of farming. But we also want to be able to mix and network informally, and the Winter Gardens is perfect because it delivers a great combination of formal and social facilities all under one roof.”

Tourism bosses in the resort have also revealed that they have tried contacting the BBC Radio 4’s long running rural soap opera, The Archers, about incorporating details of the 2011 YFC convention being held in Blackpool into the fictional storyline.

visitBlackpool’s Business Tourism Manager Mandy Tythe-McCallum said of the approach: “We were aware that recently the line between fictional Ambridge and the real world has become somewhat blurred, the most obvious examples being the visit of the Duchess of Cornwall and the broadcast of Gardener’s Question Time from the village.

“Regular listeners will also know that the character Pip Archer is closely involved with her own local young farmer’s association, so we felt we should contact the producers in good time to let them know details of the 2011 convention in case they wanted details to weave into the plot. We also offered to help arrange a special recording from the Winter Gardens if they were interested in such an idea for either The Archers or the new digital spin-off show Ambridge Extra.”


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