Only country people know what a wonderful body is the Young Farmer's Clubs Movement. Between the ages of 16 and 22, it was the core of my social existence. Then rugby football and Mrs D took over. This afternoon, I joined several hundred members of local YFC clubs at their Annual Rally held at Forden. The photographs were taken at the same time in different parts of the fields and buildings.
The audience was in the shed where the entertainment competitions were held, and this was only about half of it. There were other crowds all over the place. The levels of audience appreciation is very high.
There was a sort of Notting Hill Carnival competition going on, which was tough on the girls, because it was freeeeeezing. There were several prominent performances.
There are always lots of competitions involving old skills now generally lost. When most of us want to erect one of these fashionable new wooden gates at the end of the drive, we simply go out and pay £100 for a factory made model. These lads can knock one up in half an hour.
Included this one because it was my old club, Berriew YFC performing. They were doing 'Making your mind up', the old Buck's Fizz European Song Contest entry. There was one hell of a cheer when the skirts were whipped off in true Buck's Fizz style. I was much taken with the terrific standard in this competition. Simon Cowell himself would have been impressed.
And there's the sheep shearing of course. Always makes me nostalgic. Its a skill that not enough people have these days, and we have become dependent on New Zealanders coming over for the summer months to help us manage the job. Its easy when you know how, but its a young man's game. I can still shear, and fairly quickly, but by the time I'd have shorn 10, my back would have retired me. I used to shear around 150 in a day, when I was doing a bit of contract shearing. So many young lads, strong and fit. One thing that wasn't around when I was a competitor was the van dishing out free condoms. It wasn't far from where these impressive torsos were displaying their dazzling techniques on the shearing podium. I was told that one young farmer had walked away from the van with his pockets stuffed full. He could have been heading for the carnival area.