Plea to put pub on the map

PUBLISHED: 09:09 10 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:59 22 October 2010

Landlord and farmer's son Andrew Stammers has seen a surprising increase in trade at the Angel, Larling, since the A11 dual-carriageway was completed three years ago.

Landlord and farmer's son Andrew Stammers has seen a surprising increase in trade at the Angel, Larling, since the A11 dual-carriageway was completed three years ago. The family-run pub, which sells locally-produced food and a first-class pint of Adnam's, has become a popular meeting place. However, Andrew, son of neighbouring farmer Brian, would dearly love Norfolk County Council and the Highways Agency to erect a sign off the A11 to help people find Larling. He has been pressing for three years for the long-promised sign, which would stop customers missing the slip road to his pub. One member of Stalham Farmers' Club, who used his “sat nav” also missed the turn.

Supporters of farming's charity, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, are being urged to spend £5 to watch a cricket match in one of the most attractive settings in Norfolk. Sir John White, chairman of the Norfolk arm of RABI, has asked spectators to Salle Park, near Reepham, on Sunday, July 16 for a match between the Aylsham Agricultural Show Association's team, headed by Chris and Anne Self, and Sir John's band.

Members of Norfolk Mills Group have the annual meeting at Letheringsett water mill, Holt, on Sunday, June 18. Miller Mike Thurlow will give a brief tour of the site, starting at 1.30pm. The annual meeting is at 2pm when a guest speaker will talk about the flora and funa of Britain's waterways.

There was a good response to the competition involving the latest Spring Fling activity book, given to visitors at the April event at the Norfolk showground. Youngsters were asked to colour drawings and complete quiz questions and return the books to the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association. The two winners are Chloe Moulton, aged seven, of Bungay, and Ben Homer, aged 14, from Norwich.

A comedy act, Bayfield & Holloway, star at the next Farmers' Bash on Wednesday, July 12. Organiser Peter Havers said a mid-week date was chosen to enable everyone to enjoy the entertainment. Stephen Bayfield and Peter Holloway will provide comedy and Alison Murton will sing. There is a hog roast and bar at Athelington Hall, near Eye, 7.30pm. Tickets £7.50 from the NFU's Diss office.

Breckland farmer Tim Jolly was a generous host when two dozen thirsty members of Stalham Farmers' Club descended on his asparagus packing shed. After the party had been briefed about asparagus, which is enjoying a steady rise in sales. Total annual consumption of home-grown asparagus is still a fraction of the levels in Europe. It was a costly crop to grow - given that the cost of buying asparagus crowns was at least £4000 an acre, and it would several years before the crop came into full production. The first two years of establishment are absolutely vital, he said. Then, members tried their hand at “driving” converted golf buggies used by his picking team. The chairman, Tim Papworth, of Felmingham, rapidly qualified but another volunteer, Alan Beck, of Brumstead, Stalham, was not quite so skilled. The visit ended with refreshments on the lawn and a surprise gift of tasty Norfolk County asparagus.

A welfare-friendly cattle handling system at Paul Rackham's specialist beef unit at Manor Farm, Bridgham, near Thetford, has produced major benefits by reducing stress. It is based on designs by American animal behaviour expert Dr Temple Grandin, who was featured on BBC2 on Thursday evening. Instead of straight lines, the race is serpentine-shaped and the sides are covered by thick black matting. East Norfolk farmer William Donald, who was a member of the visiting party of Stalham Farmers' Club, decided to test the race. Gamely, he continued through but members shut him in the crush. Then chairman Tim Papworth put the squeeze on Mr Donald's sturdy frame, while he was electronically weighed. To spare his blushes, a calculator might be needed to calculate his weight - a cool cwt in kilo terms!

In the best tradition of making the judges of the 27th Norfolk Farm Business competition earn their supper, organisers of Aylsham Agricultural Show Association are starting early on Sunday, June 18. With eight entries in the championship class, Chris Self has asked the visiting Suffolk judges to start after lunch. They will visit Robert Mitchell at Blickling and Jimmy Fowell's farm at Itteringham. After the formal welcome dinner, sponsored by Barclays Bank, when they join the judges of the other classes, the judging starts on Monday morning.

Holstein dairy cattle at Raveningham get the best food and drink to produce top quality milk for the East of England Co-op's Exclusively East Anglia milk. As the host, Sir Nicholas Bacon told 200 members of Anglia Farmers, the cows get the cleanest water. He said that the drinking water for the cows was filtered to remove traces of iron from borehole water because it can reduce the herd's fertility. Clearly, this is not a concern for us, he said, to much laughter. They have cut the estate's water bill by £9000 a year by making even more efficient use of water and using the surplus from the millennium lake to clean down the milking parlour and yards.

A surprise hitch-hiker joined one party on a trailer touring the Raveningham estate in south Norfolk. As the group left a briefing by the estate's conservation manager Jake Fiennes and Richard MacMullen, of Norfolk Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, a man came running down the road. The tractor driver stopped and this “passenger” climbed aboard. When the trailer reached the main road to trundle towards the dairy, as it turned off, the “mystery guest” stepped off the trailer. To everyone's surprise, he flagged down a following bus and climbed aboard. Later the mystery was revealed. It was Chris Campbell, of Protein Feeds, rushing back to serve the drinks for the returning visitors.

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