16 April 1999

weight reducing trim, then "a light bleach can be added to the top to shatter through some life."

Helen is all eyes, pleased to see what is happening. Ian is not quite sure why he said yes to all this. Yet hes in capable hands and likes the subtle end result.

Helens face is prepared by cleansing, toning and moisturising followed by concealing blemishes, applying face powder, eyelash curling then eye shadow. "This should be based on natural colouring," says Stephen. "Im using lilac shadow to complement Helens green eyes." Attaching false eyelashes, a first for Helen, demands patience from then both. "Dont pluck your eyebrows so aggressively, you shouldnt be so hard on them," Stephen tells her.

Ian is then brought forward. You have a mark between the eyes that needs concealing, how did that happen Ian?" asks Stephen. "Well I had a big spring in the workshop that knocked me out a while back and then last week at the Hunt Ball I was helping out as a bouncer and was decked by someone!" laughs Ian.

Carla gives Helens hair a gentle back combing and then its fixed up and looks a real picture. "Just like that girl in Breakfast at Tiffanys," says a film crew girl.

Though it seems Helen is too young to remember the film, she is impressed by the make up and hair, likes her dress but is not sure about the gloves. There is also a black feather boa shes fallen in love with, alas Stephen says "no, well stick with the shawl".

Helen looks stunning and Ian reckons he looks smart and will be "straight off down the pub tonight and on the pull".

"Im sure to get a ribbing about my hair from work mates, even though the bleaching is subtle and Im not too sure about wearing a bowtie, its not to my liking," he says.

Four other Young Farmers, Andrew Carter, brother Phillip, Rebecca Dunn and Jenny Flinton have been invited to join presenters to see if theyre suitably impressed and to question Stephen about how they can dress likewise on a tiny budget. "All quiet please," and "action!"

A brief introduction and on come our glamour twins, Ian and Helen. Wow, the audience is suitably impressed, "absolutely gorgeous" is the exact phrase. Are they really the friends they usually see dressed in jeans, tee-shirts and trainers? These Young Farmers never fail to get to the annual Harrogate County Ball and the local clubs Valentines dance, in whatever they have, can borrow or afford to buy. Now they, like Helen, have had their eyes opened to other options that will make them look a million dollars just for the night.

Unfortunately, like Cinderellas finery, these clothes are a temporary illusion, tomorrow they will go back to the shop and all that will be left will be happy memories and the knowledge of how to put on the glitz!

&#8226 Style Street (BBC Digital channel) from Helmsley will be broadcast nightly during the week starting April 26 and the Young Farmers make-over will appear Wed 28.

Achance to be listed in farm holiday guide

THE Farm Holiday Bureau – the farm tourism co-operative run by farmers for farmers – is introducing a new category of membership – Associates – and any farm with tourist board, AA or RAC graded accommodation can apply.

Associates will have the benefit of entries in the FHB guide Stay on a Farm and receive the quarterly newsletter Open Gate. Full members have to join one of the 92 local farm tourism groups and this opens the door to may other benefits including special promotions, full pages on the internet, referral business, advice and support. A special introductory rate of £100 plus VAT is currently on offer for both levels of membership.

FHB chief executive Haydn Morris believes the new arrangements will increase membership. "People can become Associates very easily and increase trade as a result. On average people get £2000 of business from the guide alone."

Any new recruits who want to feature in next years guide need to apply quickly as entries must be in by the end of April. For full details telephone (01203 696909).

HATS THE WAY TO DO IT, SAYS PAT…

PAT Robinson has moved into the world of fashion in a bid to keep the farming business she runs with husband, Geoff, afloat.

The collapse of cereal and lamb prices has left their 40ha (100-acre) Staindale Grange Farm, Hornby, North Yorks, teetering on the brink.

Up to two years ago, there was sufficient income from 24ha (60 acres) of cereals and 250 Mule breeding ewes, to keep their heads above water, bolstered by income from three holiday cottages. But not any more.

Survival became dependent on another source of income. But Pats services were required to help with the sheep – a factor which precluded off- farm work.

The solution came through a chance meeting in a holiday hotel with Beryl Otley, who runs Get Ahead Hats from her farm near York.

She was looking for another franchisee to provide hats for special occasions to the ladies of Tyneside and Teesside, and Pat was perfectly placed to become the seventh outlet of the company.

Rapid conversion of a redundant farm outbuilding over a six-week period by Geoff has provided an ideal display area for the new millinery business, which has recently been launched.

"The idea appealed to me. It was something I could do, it would fit in with farm duties and it would bring a bit of glamour into a male dominated world," says Pat. "It is nice to have a bit of feminine conversation now and again."

While Geoff contemplates the financial benefits to be derived from a Stewardship scheme, Pat is polishing up on her sales patter.

"I like nice clothes and dressing up, but no outfit is complete without a hat," she says.

Alan Barker

New charge is a worry for WFFU

CONCERNS were raised about the cost of funding the Food Standards Agency by delegates at the Womens Food and Farming Union conference.

The proposed £90 charge for retail and catering premises would unfairly hit small farm retailers, claimed WFFU administrator Helen Borrill. "A classic case of one step forward and two steps back," she said.

West Country farmer Jenny Sanders, one of the 70-plus delegates present at the Evesham conference, expressed worries about the potential impact on farmers markets.

"Would the £90 be a one-off payment?" asked Mrs Sanders, who sells at four or more such Cornish outlets every week. "Or will we be charged every time we attend a different market? If thats the case, we soon wont be able to afford to leave home."