60 years Young (Farmers)

Memory lane: Winmarleigh YFC's float in the 1997 gala day
Memory lane: Winmarleigh YFC's float in the 1997 gala day

Young farmers at Winmarleigh plan to celebrate the club’s diamond anniversary this month in style.

Treasurer Amy Collinson hailed the achievement, saying: “The club is one of the few to survive in the Wyre Lune region, and it is still going strong.

“We are celebrating with a 60th anniversary dinner dance on Saturday, January 26 at Garstang Country Hotel and Golf Club, Bowgreave.

“We would like to invite old and new members to come along and help celebrate memories of all the events that have taken place over the past 60 years.”

The club has been digging back into its own history, and the first meeting took place at Winmarleigh School on January 29, 1953.

“We’d love to know if anyone was at that first meeting, it would be great to hear your memories of that night,” said Amy.

Meetings later moved to Winmarleigh Church Hall, and finally to the Village Hall where members still meet every Monday night.

Many fund-raising events have taken place over the years and considerable amounts of money have been raised for charities.

“There must be plenty of people who can remember the 24 hour sponsored plough in the 1980s?

“From stories told, it was a good laugh with members getting stuck in the mud and having to be towed out.

“Remember there weren’t fancy big ploughs like we have today, there would be some very tired people by the end.

“They set out to raise enough money to buy one guide dog but actually made enough to sponsor two. The dogs were named Winmarleigh Ploughboy and Winmarleigh Winner.

“Over the past two years we have held a charity tractor run to raise money for The Ryan Stanford Appeal and F.O.R.M.E. We still do our Annual Muck Haul today.

“Each year we have a stand at Garstang Show, over the years we have had craft and baking competitions, tug of war, greasy pole and tractor tug.

“One of our most popular attractions is the Ducking Stool. I don’t know if people can remember a few years back we had the gunge tank when the public voted for the person they most wanted to see covered in a most revolting mixture of cold beans, spaghetti and custard.

“If past members came to one of our meetings on a Monday night they would feel quite at home because nothing has changed much.

“We have the usual mix of good speakers, games nights and visits. Over the years members have been to TVR cars in Blackpool, Warburton’s Bakery, Mitchells Brewery, Bensons Crisps to name but a few.”

Amy said there are still the usual bowling and ice skating events, and they enter county and regional quizzes, public speaking, debates and rallies.

Rallies, however, are few and far between these days.

“Not like 40 years ago when they were every weekend,” she added.

“That’s something we are sorry no longer happens.

“One of the good things about Young Farmers is that we organise everything ourselves.

“There is no parental input, unlike most youth clubs, but we can ask for help from our advisory team, usually past members.”

Young Farmers are well known for their dances. If you were a member of a Young Farmer’s club you will probably remember the Carnival Ball, the Spring Fling and the County Ball.

“How many happy marriages must have been kindled at these dos!” said Amy.

“Sadly numbers in the organisation dropped, so these dos were done away with, but happily more people are coming back to join Young Farmers and as a result our County Ball and the Spring Fling have been reinstated.

“No matter what Young Farmers Club you belong or belonged to, please come along and help us make our Diamond Jubilee a night to remember.”

Tickets are £25 and are available from Carcare in Garstang.