Farmers win cricket festival match

PUBLISHED: 09:07 24 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:05 22 October 2010

A cricket festival in the Waveney Valley attracted good support, said Philip Kidner. The Pat Gibson shield was won by St James while the Chris Blaxland Cup for top batsman went to Robert Walpole, of St Margaret South Elmham.

A cricket festival in the Waveney Valley attracted good support, said Philip Kidner. The Pat Gibson shield was won by St James while the Chris Blaxland Cup for top batsman went to Robert Walpole, of St Margaret South Elmham. The National Farmers' Union and Waveney Harriers match was won in blustery conditions by the farmers. Nick Besle was top scorer for the hunters and despite brief support from Jeffery Bowles, the Harriers scored 87 all out. A spell of underarm bowling, by the column's Waveney cricket correspondent, who managed 4 for 12 and with superb catching, secured victory. Miles Jackson was top scorer with 16 and David Hadingham scoring the winning runs with a six. Another match at South Elmham is planned between teams representing the town's leading estate agents, Durrants and TW Gaze.

It was lousy weather for an ascent on three peaks but the members of Reepham Rotary Club succeeded and hoped to have raised at least £5,000 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Tony Williams, who is a Norfolk County Councillor and a former county NFU chairman, and colleagues, Gareth Homfray-Davies and Ian Malton completed the 42km walk and climbed 3.4km in a fraction under 30 hours. Mr Williams, who completed the 4,406ft Ben Nevis climb in about six hours, was startled to find that teams of firefighters took just 2 hours 59 minutes. They also managed the ascent on Scafell Pike, including a trip to the nearby hospital when Mr Malton fell and was injured, and finally to the top of Snowdon within 12 hours 30 minutes.

Farmer Robin Ellis, of Manor Farm, Wellingham, between Fakenham and Swaffham, who opens his four-acre garden tomorrow for the National Gardens Scheme, has welcomed dozens of city children to walk his fields and crops. He had 42 primary school children from Southall in London, with six teachers, who had never been on a farm. They walked around the outdoor pig enterprise and were fascinated by his red deer. Mr Ellis, who recently had another group on a visit organised by the Country Trust, said the youngsters were fascinated by owl pellets. When he broke them apart and showed the bones and remnants of the owl's daily fare, it was the highlight. They were also startled because Mr Ellis had placed some bottles of beer in malting barley crops and bags of sugar in beet fields to make the “farm to plate” connection. The garden, also home to a small herd of Formosan Sika deer, is open from 2pm. Adults £3, children free.

While scientists at the John Innes Centre's field trials site were talking about new and old varieties of wheat at Church Farm, Bawburgh, a barn owl was taking a close interest in proceedings. Mike Ambrose, who is the curator of the national collections of thousands of wheat and barley varieties, was describing a Norfolk wheat variety, Browick, found in a field on a farm near Wymondham in 1844, when the barn owl was hunting the nearby headland. Later after a fine supper, the Friends of the John Innes Centre, might have seen the owl also foraging again for a meal too.

A service takes place tomorrow at 3.30pm, at St Peter's Church, Corpusty, which stands proud on the Norwich to Holt Road on top of the hill overlooking the nearby village. Since the 14th church was closed, it has been in the ownership of the Friends of the Friendless Churches, which has 38 disused places of worship in England and Wales.

Broadland race goers are invited to take part in the sixth annual St Peter's Snail Race on Friday, June 30. Just follow the snail signs to the farm. Sally and John Mitchell, of Hall Farm, Repps cum Bastwick, and their family, friends and neighbours, start proceedings with the first “heats” running from 6pm. Your diarist's wife, who was the champion at last year's event and won an amazing trophy shaped liked a snail, will be hoping to defend her title. There is a barbecue, refreshments and plenty of other stalls with proceeds helping to raise the £7,000 parish share.

Supporters of the Norfolk Churches Trust should note the annual fundraising “bike” ride on Saturday, September 9. Last year, £137,000 was raised for the trust, which helps repair and conserve churches of all denominations. There is also an opportunity to visit an unusual garden at Bridge House, Millgate, Aylsham, open for the trust, from 2pm. Adults £3.50.

East Norfolk farmer William Donald, who has finally been told that he will receive his long-delayed Single Farm Payment, was more than puzzled to receive three sets of “populated” or half-completed forms some weeks ago. Mr Donald, of Witton, near North Walsham, who is a former chairman of Norfolk National Farmers' Union, was even more startled to find that his envelope contained another farmer's forms. When he contacted prominent north Norfolk farmer, Peter “Spin” Seaman to tell him the news, Mr Donald was taken aback to find his friend had the same experience and the two friends were able to exchange forms.

Retiring banker David Hodgetts thanked the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association for continuing the strong links with the 27th Norfolk County Farm Business competition. Speaking at the annual dinner for judges and stewards at the Aylsham Lodge Hotel, he said that Barclays Agricultural Banking has supported the competition from the first in 1979. Mr Hodgetts, who takes early retirement this month, thanked joint show presidents, Chris and Ann Self, for running the competition. Members and supporters are invited to tour the championship winner, Heygate Farms, of Snailspit Farm, Swaffham, on Tuesday, July 18 (6pm). Organisers need to know numbers to arrange the farm tour. Contact Mr Self's office on 01263 733881 with numbers.

A vintage tractor, a 55-year-old Fordson Major started first time after being laid up for 20 years. Auctioneer Barry Hawkins, of Downham Market, is selling four tractors at Nordelph on Saturday, July 1, (10am). The tractor had not moved from the shed for 20 years but with tyres pumped up and a new battery, she fired first time. The 1949 Fordson Major E27N is being sold by her third owner with a Ford 4000, a Massey 35X, with 3126 hours and a 1974 Fiat 540 Special. A Claas Matador combine is also being sold.

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