Primarily due to the dreadful weather, it has been a difficult year for the North West region and was reflected in herd competition entries being down, due to the wet conditions affecting both land and animals, and despite it being held in August. Many members were forced to lie cattle in for a time to rest poached land and on this farm it seemed we were hanging around all summer waiting for a window of opportunity long enough to take silage or hay.
The year began as usual with the AGM and business meeting when suggestions for an interesting year were mooted. Arrangements were made for a summer trip to Eire to see some Irish herds but had to be abandoned in May as we were unable to get enough members to commit due to worries over crops.
In February and April, the Club sponsored successful Prime Stock Shows and Sales at Carlisle and Ulverston and enjoyed a Ten Pin Bowling night at Carlisle. Junior stock judging held at the Devon County Show early in the year caused us some difficulty because we usually select our teams by holding four local junior stock judging competitions on members’ farms. This was reduced to two which were by kind permission of Messrs Kelly, Netherhall Farm, Kirkby Lonsdale and Dennis Walker, Agremont, but eventually we found only Lauren Bowe was able to take part, for which we were very grateful.
At our May meeting we were entertained by the fascinating experiences of the Marston Family who had hosted the BBC on their hill farm for “Lambing Live”.
The poor summer resulted in a lot of local shows being cancelled and our Open Stock Judging date at Procters Farm, Slaidburn changed three times because of it. Our Herd Competition, generously sponsored by Blue Fin Insurance again, was held in August and judged by Norman Cruickshank, who made an excellent job with the Haltcliffe Herd taking the Overall Champion Herd title once again.
We had an excellent Open Stock Judging at Procters Farm in August which was very well organised by Gary & Karen Swindlehurst and was very well attended. We held our Heifer & Bull Derby at the Westmorland County Show in September which was very ably judged by Anne Hirst, with both sections being won by Stephen & Thomas Illingworth with Glenrock Fantastic and Glenrock Grandslam. We enjoyed our Annual Dinner Dance at Shap Wells Hotel when a good night was had by all.
Members of the Club manned the very busy Society stand at Agri-Expo in November which gets more popular every year. Thanks go to Steadman & Judy Dodd who selected and provided a lot of the cattle on the stand – no mean task! The following week we held our final meeting of the year in Ring 6 of Borderway Mart, our regular venue, where Iain Kerr (CEO of the BLCS) discussed ongoing Society work and answered many questions put to him.
Hopefully the weather will be better next year …………!