Musical delight for harvest festival

Two national presidents of the Women's Food and Farming Union played an impromptu musical entertainment at the latest harvest festival supper. After a delightful supper at Maggie and John Andrews' home at Rockland St Mary, near Norwich, Lorna Richardson asked the hostess if she could have a tinkle on the ivories of her grand piano.

Two national presidents of the Women's Food and Farming Union played an impromptu musical entertainment at the latest harvest festival supper. After a delightful supper at Maggie and John Andrews' home at Rockland St Mary, near Norwich, Lorna Richardson asked the hostess if she could have a tinkle on the ivories of her grand piano. Then Mrs Richardson, wife of columnist and commentator David, of Great Melton, invited the current WFU president, Ionwen Lewis, who had rushed from London to support the supper, to share the task of entertaining the growing audience. It was a very pleasant end to the end as melodies by a talented pair of pianists were played to an appreciate audience.

The mysteries of rules and regulations about agricultural braking will be discussed at an open meeting of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers East Anglian Branch. Dr Andy Scarlett will be doing his best to explode some of the myths on "Agricultural Braking: Rules, Regulations and Reality." All are welcome said secretary Duncan Russell at Diss Golf Club on Wednesday, October 25, 7.30pm. So no talk of the Mysterons and Captain Scarlet then.

North Norfolk farmer Brian Filby, whose oldest son James runs a 5,500-acre spread at Tamworth in New South Wales, brought a bottle of his own Australian red wine to Holt & District Farmers' Club. Each spring Mr Filby and his wife, Janet, harvest their grapes from the small vineyard. It is also available at their Roughton farm shop near Cromer. They make a couple of thousand bottles which Mr and Mrs Filby pick themselves to make their own Currabubula wine. It was ironical that as one of the largest gathering of members gathered to hear about the malting barley prospects from Bob King, of Crisp Malting Group, that Mr Filby showed the location of the family's farm using a map of the wines of Australia.

Two members were thanked for decades of service to the Holt and District Farmers' Club at the 58th annual meeting. And members made a surprise presentation to Richard Harrison, of Metton, who was a former chairman for eight years until 1996. Retiring chairman, Mike Attew, then produced a really stunning statuette of a sportman in the field with black labrador. Mr Harrison, who has been a committee member for 35 years, was genuinely surprised and lost for words. The labrador bore an uncanny resemblance to his former bitch, Meg.


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Two harvest festivals take place tomorrow, Bury St Edmunds (11.30am) and Norwich Cathedral, 3.30pm. The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association' theme is cheesemakers with a display by Catherine Temple, of Wighton, near Wells, and Ellie Betts, of Barningham. Head cattle steward Peter Rout had arranged for a cow from Ken and Rebecca Proctor's high-flying Airfield herd but bluetongue has put paid to that. Canon Bob Baker will preach and members of Norfolk young farmers will be making offerings. Tea will be served afterwards.

A team of 25 volunteers from farming's charity, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, will be taking part in the Norwich Christmas Card Shop at the Assembly House, said county secretary Sally Mitchell, of Repps cum Bastwick, near Acle. Volunteers from all the charities will be selling cards seven days a week, Monday to Friday (9.30am to 5pm and between 11.30am and 3.30pm on Sundays until December 19. It is one way to beat the postal strike by buying cards.

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