15 December 1995

Men join tour in the field…

A CLUSTER of farmers – there was no doubting their occupation – gathered on the steps of the Slieve Donard Hotel as Farmlife drove into the car park of the grand, seafront establishment at Newcastle, County Down.

Their number increased as a coach drew up and the farmers, including a party of women, piled on for a day of farm visits.

The Farm Holiday Bureau annual meeting reverses the usual order of a gathering of farming people for it was mostly the women who stayed back at the hotel to discuss the business matters. There were only a couple of handfuls men from the party of more than 200 people from across the UK attending the lively gathering in Northern Ireland.

In addition to two nights of dining and dancing, the party had spent a day visiting tourist attractions and many were planning to stay on in Northern Ireland after the meeting to see more of the area. The annual meeting is the basis of an annual holiday for many of these holiday-providers, and Northum-berland and Cumbria region members were extending a welcome for the 1996 gathering, which will be in Durham.