Chairman's Chat

October

Hello all Country Linkers

Autumn is definitely here and the nights are drawing in and we have had more than our fair quota of rain. So at this time of year there are no evening walks but nights indoors or at the theatre, meals out and quiz evenings.

Most local farmers are drilling their Winter crops a few weeks later than normal so that the crop is not too far advanced (as the winters are becoming warmer) thus avoiding unnecessary spraying of insecticides.

Now is the time to think about the Weymouth weekend as it’s less than 3 weeks away.  The fancy dress theme is black and white, so get your thinking caps on and we look forward to a good turnout.

As most groups are planning their Autumn and Winter programmes it would be good to see some groups getting together for shared Christmas meals as Wiltshire, Dorset and Somerset do.  This is possible if groups are not too far apart or if individuals wish to stay overnight in another area and maybe all join together for a walk the next day.  Some of us from the Wiltshire and Dorset groups are going to join the Cornwall group for their Christmas meal and we’re making a long weekend of it.   It is interesting to see how other groups are run and get different ideas for future events.

 

If you are reading this and would like to know more about country link, please look at the programmes section on the website. You are welcome to get in touch with your local club direct or use our contact form.

If there is no club in your area, you are welcome to join in as a national member.

Country link looks forward to hearing from you.

Charles Humby
Chairman


September

Hello all Country Linkers

Hope all is well and that the Summer has been a good one for everybody whether it has been working hard on the harvest or relaxing on holiday.

Harvest is now finished for another year here in South Wiltshire and the combines have been cleaned and put away.   The wheat yields are very good and hope the grain will go for milling for bread flour.  The weather turned out just right in the end and we now hope for an Indian Summer.  Country Link carries on apace with trips to open gardens, the beautiful Oak Fair in Dorset and many more get togethers.

Many thanks to those Group Organisers who completed the questionnaire.  This is helping us to plan for the 35th anniversary celebrations.  We would greatly appreciate receiving the questionnaire back from those who have not, as yet, returned theirs.

PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION IS CRUCIAL FOR PLANNING OUR 35TH ANNIIVERSARY YEAR.

It is good to hear that Tony Paul, our ex-Chairman, is well on the road to a full recovery.   Best wishes from the Country Link family.

Greetings from Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.

We are looking forward to welcoming the 102 members who have already booked to come to Weymouth in October.   Please do let your members know that we still have a few rooms available including one non-sea view single for £180 due to a cancellation.

NOW IS THE TIME TO PLAN THE FANCY DRESS THEME OF “BLACK & WHITE” FOR THE FRIDAY EVENING.

If you wish to know more about Country Link please continue to read the website or contact a local group or myself on 01747 870046

If you would like to know more about Country Link, please look at the programmes section on the website. You are welcome to get in touch with your local club, use our contact form, or contact myself on 01747 870046.

If there is no club in your area, you are welcome to join in as a national member.

Country link looks forward to hearing from you.

Charles Humby
Chairman


August

Hello all Country Linkers

Well, what a Summer!!  July 25th being the hottest day recorded - 38 degrees in the east of England, whilst here in Wiltshire it was a mere 35 degrees. We’re very busy with the spring barley harvest, which surprisingly looks good despite the lack of rain earlier in the season.  All the spring barley crop is being shipped to Denmark for malting in order that Country Link members are well supplied with lager at forthcoming weekends!

The oil seed rape crop is not as bountiful as the cabbage flea beetle has attacked the seed causing the plant to carry on flowering for many weeks after it should have seeded. The yield is so low that the price attained has not even covered the cost of the fertilizer.

Our local groups have been on a few trips to some lovely open gardens to get ideas and tips for their own gardens.   Also there was a very interesting outing to an area near Sherborne where large blue butterflies flourish, having a symbiotic relationship with ants.

WEYMOUTH WEEKEND 18th – 21st OCTOBER

Our Weymouth weekend is proving very popular, so get your booking in fast to secure one of the few remaining rooms, a couple of which have sea views.
GROUP ORGANISERS PLEASE NOTE
If you have not already done so, please return the recent questionnaire sent out as Country Link need the information contained in the replies to help with our 35th Anniversary celebrations to take place in 2020.  Thank you.

The Country Link family wish Tony, our ex Chairperson, a good recovery after his spell spent in hospital in July.  All best wishes.

If you are reading this and would like to know more about country link, please look at the programmes section on the website. You are welcome to get in touch with your local club direct or use our contact form.

If there is no club in your area, you are welcome to join in as a national member.

Country link looks forward to hearing from you.

Charles Humby
Chairman


July

Hello all Country Linkers

I am your new Chairperson, Charles Humby, voted in at the AGM during the recent Cheshire weekend.

Firstly, I must thank Sue Haige and her Team for another successful weekend, well arranged with good and interesting visits, despite the wet weather on the Saturday.

My job is in farming and I have run the South Wiltshire Country Link Group for the last 16 years. We are quite a small group, but team up with the East Somerset and Dorset Groups for most of our visits.

I have been on the National Committee for the last 3 years as Vice Chairperson.  I believe that Country Link will move forward by including the Area Representatives in the running of the Group. To achieve this we need the Area Reps to attend the quarterly Committee meetings.  If any members of Country Link wish to help run the Group they must attend the Committee meetings and state their ideas. If they do not attend said meetings any suggestions or comments made will be discussed by the National Committee to consider if they are relevant and beneficial to the Group as a whole. The Committee’s decision is final.

Lastly, I wish to thank Tony Paul for all his hard work as Chairperson over the last 3 years.

If you are reading this and would like to know more about country link, please look at the programmes section on the website. You are welcome to get in touch with your local club direct or use our contact form.

If there is no club in your area, you are welcome to join in as a national member.

Country link looks forward to hearing from you.

Charles Humby
Chairman


June

WELCOME TO JUNE AND MY LAST CHAT

As I am standing down as chairman at the June weekend in Cheshire I thought it would be an idea to reflect on the last 3 years, some highs and lows, a few past stories/pictures I've used and most of all to wish Charles Humby my successor the best of luck (and I hope you will all support him at the election and show him all the support you have all shown me.)

Luckily I've had very few lows, a couple of quite acrimonious meetings at weekends but hopefully that's all sorted now, and the big baddy that my partner Karen has been diagnosed with Parkinson, which also gave rise to one of the big ups at weekends and that's all the good wishes and help we've had from this family of country link. Also on the ups is the massive help and sometimes prompting when I have one of my CRAFT moments (for those who don't know a CRAFT moment is when I Can't Remember A Flipping Thing {polite version!}) from my excellent secretary and treasurer who sit either side of me at national meetings,and a president who has pointed out so many useful things to clarify my mind when asked questions sometimes pro others no. I must also mention here Charles who has been there especially chivvying up rep's to provide reports for committee and pushing me to do things when I've got a little behind with things.

Looking back at my 3 years of chats has been interesting, some serious some funny, a couple that was a little off the wall and one ghost written for me by Liz when I was going through a particularly dark spot. But it has been an experience, I now understand writers block and it's been difficult to control my verbal dioreah sometimes. Below are a few of my fave pics:

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Cute puppy! My guyfaulks night fancy dress winners
at Essex and
Suffolk weekend
May pole dance
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Our blue bell walk my Molly being coy winners fancy dress in Shropshire some cute lambs
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Frosty tree Essex and Suffolk burns night crimble trees Our sugar beat harvester
stuck in the mud
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Cute cat and dog pic My 50 birthday barn dance Me attempting dressage on Herby
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Scenic walk at a weekend Karen and I on the Isle of Wight weekend  Fancy dress Skeggy (I think)
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Vintage farm visit Cute calves


There have also been many funny cartoons, but I can't put these up as I would be contravening the web rules of copy rights.

A a farmer I realise there has been a lot of talk about farming stuff, and a lot of personal anecdotes as well as some silliness and I hope you've enjoyed it all.

If you are reading this and would like to know more about country link, please look at the programmes section on the website. You are welcome to get in touch with your local club direct or ring myself Tony on mobile 07951 789056, land line 01206 251515 or email antonypaul@live.co.uk.

If there is no club in your area, you are welcome to join in as a national member.

Country link looks forward to hearing from you.

Tony Paul
Chairman


May

Welcome to my penultimate chat.

May is a month of change in the countryside, all the spring flowers are dying back and all the summer ones are blooming and the crops are coming into ear, or they would be if there was some rain, round here it's so bad we are irrigating spring barley just to get it to fill the ears. (for you who are not country folk, the ear is that part of a cereal crop that contains the seed. Barley is the one that goes to make your whiskey's and beers and a lot of animal feeds and also in some human foods as roughage and antioxidants, wheat's {the pic below are unripe 'ears' of wheat.} are mainly your flours for cooking and baking [inc. bread and biscuits] but are also used for animal feeds, and in this country the other main 'cereal' is rape which makes various oils from cooking to fuel for your vehicle!)

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On top of these are all those involved with livestock who will be in full flow with their new arrivals giving them many sleepless nights so chin up you lot it won't be long now.

This month also sees May day holiday, so get out your bright colours and long ribbons ready to dance round the pole and I mean the one like the picture not the one that's “for exercise”, and celebrate the start of ancestral summer.

Finally and to those involved most importantly Don't forget our up coming weekend in Cheshire (I know it's in June but this is positively your last chance to stand any hope of joining in.) if you haven't already done so get your final payments in and get your fancy dress sorted, it's Alice in Wonderland so I expect lots of imagination and possible lateral thinking, it promises like always to be a smashing event, and I feel sorry for all you not going and missing out on all the fun and silliness.

If you are reading this and would like to know more about country link, please look at the programmes section on the website. You are welcome to get in touch with your local club direct or ring myself Tony on mobile 07951 789056, land line 01206 251515 or email antonypaul@live.co.uk.

If there is no club in your area, you are welcome to join in as a national member.

Country link looks forward to hearing from you.

Tony Paul
Chairman


March

I know It's March but it is the Hares that are mad not you lot!

Firstly let me remind you March 17th is the next National Committee meeting, anyone who would like to come along and see how things are done please let me know asap so we can check on numbers.

Next an urgent request, has anyone seen Winter I think I must have blinked and missed it,I know up north you've seen it and west you may have caught a glimpse but here we seem to have gone from early Autumn to late spring, some people round here are even mowing lawns the birds are nesting and some of the Daff's are already out.

Don't forget all you members the spring weekend is coming up and the cut off date for booking tickets is upon us, you may still be lucky if there is an odd place left, and lets face it when you can look as odd as some of our fancy dressers that's the only thing that's right.

The farming calender is now in full swing, onions and spring barley are in, and the potatoes are going in at a furious rate before the little bit of rain we've been promised comes. After this will come sugar beat followed by a furious round of top dressing and weed control.

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On a couple of personal notes and for you steam enthusiasts I am hoping to have a steam engine back on the farm around September, she is called the pride of Clacton, and was owned by the council but due to financial pressure they are selling her and a group of enthusiasts have been raising money and have asked me if they can house her on the farm, I must admit I will be over the moon if it all works out. Also a couple of days ago my sister sent me this photo of an adder in her garden up near Sizewell, don't get too alarmed it was only about 6” long and they think a gull picked it up and dropped it when it got a nip.

If you are reading this and would like to know more about country link, please look at the programmes section on the website. You are welcome to get in touch with your local club direct or ring myself Tony on mobile 07951 789056, land line 01206 251515 or email antonypaul@live.co.uk.

If there is no club in your area, you are welcome to join in as a national member.

Country link looks forward to hearing from you.

Tony Paul
Chairman


Older Chairman's Chat 2018 | 2017 | 2016

February

Brrrr welcome to a cold Feb.

Well I think winter is finally here down south a smattering of snow and some good frosts finally, I realise up tut' north you've got it somewhat harder.

So I hope you have all recovered from New year celebrations or hogmanay depending on which side of the border you hail from, and talking of which Jan. saw Burns night our wonderful secretary Kirsty (who is our Scottish connection) brought back form Glasgow our Haggai (or is it haggises) and with the help of David and Jane put on a wonderful night of 4 courses with readings and a quiz on Scottish geography {Burns related naturally} and of course finished off with coffee and shortbread (home made of course.)

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Jan. also sees the end of the sugar beat season and after one 'technical difficulty' I think you may call it (see pic) it is now all done and dusted, don't forget to make sure the red tractor is on your sugar packet and support British industry. As far as the other farming pursuits go many of us are using these wonderful frosts to fill in furrows or wheeling's left due to the wet autumn patch dirt roads and generally go over ground with as little disturbance as possible. Otherwise its workshop and maintenance and I'm one of the lucky ones with an old cast iron log burner with hot plate so toasty warm and a kettle on the go ummmmmm cosy.

My dog, Molly whom most of you who've been on weekends will know has decided at 16 it's better to be wrapped up in her bed in this cold weather and it takes quite a lot of persuasion to get her to go outside to ablout in the day, and at night she has discovered all the warm spots on the floor where the radiator pipes are close to the floor boards, so there is no walking about with the lights off or you may break a leg tripping over her.

For a laugh I have also added a pic. Of me having just completed a dressage routeen I know it looks as I'm pointing to the horse which way I want him to go but I'm actually bowing to the judges I did not do too well but did get awarded a 'special rosette', which for my first attempt I was very happy with despite it's connotations.

Oh yes and finally all you romantics out there don't forget it is valentines day this month.

 

If you are reading this and would like to know more about country link, please look at the programmes section on the website. You are welcome to get in touch with your local club direct or ring myself Tony on mobile 07951 789056, land line 01206 251515 or email antonypaul@live.co.uk.

If there is no club in your area, you are welcome to join in as a national member.

Country link looks forward to hearing from you.

Tony Paul
Chairman


 

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