Harriet Wilson: Looking forward to the Summer Ball

I can’t believe how fast my time at Harper is disappearing.

As expected, the agriculture, business and food course dinner was a great night. The marquee looked fantastically patriotic, our guest speaker Roger Williams certainly entertained the party, and the charity auction raised around £1,800 to be divided between the Midlands Air Ambulance and Help for Heroes. A night enjoyed by all – the following morning’s clean-up possibly not enjoyed by the committee, but the hard work really did pay off.

This time of year is usually the busiest part of the Young Farmers’ calendar by way of social events and competitions.

The weather was perfect for this year’s rally and dance, held near Market Drayton.

With fellow competitions chairman Toby on shearing duties, my job for the day was to run the main ring competitions. Here members were kept busy with various activities including “piggy-back polo”, a water obstacle race and the boys’ “bra challenge”. I think this latter one was underestimated by many competitors, as not only were they required to fit and undo the garment, but they were also asked to identify many sizes and types.

Toby and I had the privilege of announcing all of the results at the dance that night. And what an honour it was when we reached the overall cup, as our very own club, Eccleshall, were named the winners.

Next came the Staffordshire County Show, but this time the weather was far from perfect. According to a couple of our vice-presidents, a sunny day for the rally leads to a wet show – and a wet rally will mean a dry show. I wish I had known about this when contemplating whether to wear my wellies or new boots that most certainly aren’t waterproof, as I discovered while paddling in the main ring.

After months of tug of war training, we had reached the competition, which was held on the Wednesday night at the showground. Eccleshall A team of boys were placed third overall, however the B team and our girls’ team were not far behind, both finishing in fourth place and also plastered in mud. But I really think we need to consider setting aside the pearls and the fake tan to harden up for next year, girls!

The theme for the YFC float competition this year was “movies” and so Eccleshall chose to create a gigantic pirate ship for Pirates of the Caribbean. They had managed to build the largest float and use the smallest tractor in the competition. But it certainly did the job as they were named the winners. In fact, the main ring commentator claimed that it was the best float he had ever seen over the years. You will notice I say “they” instead of “we” – this is because I was a steward for the competition and hence the drowning in the main ring.

Looking ahead to the next few weeks, I should really crack on and find accommodation in North London where I will be residing for 12 months while completing my industrial placement with McDonald’s. In Dad’s words: “There’s nothin’ like leaving it ’til the last minute Harrie!”

Exams will be finally done and dusted by the time of publishing, so I’ll be looking forward to the infamous Summer Ball on 23 June. This is the best ball of the year, including 12 hours of entertainment (7pm to 7am) and some top DJs. The theme has just been announced as “The Seven Deadly Sins”.

As for whether I’ll stick it out until 7am – only time will tell. But for now, I had better get back to my revision notes…

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