2 January 1998

New face in Frater frame…

THE 1997 Veronica Frater memorial competition winner is Margaret Quartly of Warmington, Warwickshire.

Margaret, who has been a runner-up in the competition on several occasions, receives £200 and will be supplying Farmlife diary columns in the coming months.

Her winning entry is reproduced below and is based on a sheep farming accident. It was surprising how often the dangers of sheep handling came to light in this years huge entry, the theme for which was "Thats how it is with farming…"

Holidays – or the lack of them – were another popular topic. Whenever husbands could be dragged away from the farm it seemed that there was always a market or a farm sale to determine the destination or influence the itinerary.

The theme gave competitors plenty of scope for interpretation and they put it to extremely good effect. We had so many splendid entries it was hard enough whittling down the runner-up list to a manageable amount, let alone choose the winner.

However, there was something about Margarets contribution that left the judges feeling confident that she will serve the section well during the coming months and we look forward to getting to know her better.

By way of introduction, Margaret says that she was born and bred in the city of Leicester, and met and married Fred 20 years ago. They have two children, Michael (19), who is at Nottingham University studying genetics, and Emma (17) who is studying for A-levels and plans to go to university later this year to study archaeology.

Margaret has also been studying recently, and graduated from the Open University with a BSc in earth sciences early in 1997. She currently has two part-time jobs – doing the accounts for a local wholesale alpine and herb nursery, and similar work for a share farming company.

The Quartlys farm 89ha (220 acres) on Edge Hill (near the battle site) where they grow enough corn to feed their flock of around 450 ewes, which are mostly Suffolk crosses and Mules. "We rent out one field as a clay pigeon shooting ground," says Margaret, "though we still graze the land – no sheep have ever been shot. Yet." Her entry is reproduced opposite.

There were 35 runners-up, whose names are listed overleaf. Five of the entries have been reproduced already, the others will appear over the course of the next few weeks or months. Each runner-up receives a cheque for £50.

Ann Rogers

Margaret Quartly is set to produce Farmlife diary columns over the coming months. She and her husband Fred farm sheep in Warwickshire and have two children, Michael (19) at university and A-level student Emma (17).