8 December 1995

Somerset groups get together for lunch…

ALTHOUGH Somerset is divided into three groups, contact leaders arranged a lunch for the whole county.

The venue was the Royal Bath and West Showground and Anthony Gibson, south-western regional director of the NFU, was our after lunch speaker. He was not daunted by being the only male among more than 80 women. What a brave man.

He started his talk with an amusing tale of a city dweller moving into the countryside and asking an old boy in the local pub if he could learn country wisdom. The old chap said that to learn country ways he must take one of the pills he had in his pocket. This was duly swallowed but to no avail, the man felt no different. He was given another one, swallowed it and said he thought they looked like sheep droppings. The reply came back: "So now you be a little wiser!"

Mr Gibson went on to say that unfortunately the gulf of understanding between town and country was widening and explained the schools project scheme, in which the farm becomes a classroom. It works on the theory that what we hear we forget, what we see we remember and what we do we understand.

He told us that when a deprived school from an inner city area visited a farm recently all the children benefited in excess of expectations and were unanimous in saying they liked the farmer. These visits are stimulating and promote understanding as do farm open days, he said.

I am sure this talk gave the members inspiration to attempt to bridge the gap in some way and help farmers to avoid becoming an isolated, minority group. Jean Howells

Betty Creedy (left) and Zillah

Edwards inspect one of the new FWC badges which aid introductions.

Five members of the lunch party: (L to R) Cheri Langley, Margaret Hasel (standing), Anne Bell, Barbara Bell (standing) and Susan Bell.