Guessing the weight of a cow at a 70s sports
IT WILL be grand reunion time when Crumlin
Young Farmers Club celebrates its 75th anniversary at a slap-up
dinner in the Ross Park Hotel, Kells on Saturday, February 2.
Veterans of the club which nearly folded
three years ago and then was dramatically revived, will sit down
to eat with 40 current members who have just seen Crumlin YFC
through one of its best seasons, explains leader Alex Parks.
The club had the best float in the parade at
the Crumlin Festival, its singers were commended at the YFC
choir festival and eight members who sang Delihah at the
Lylehill talent competition won the top prize .
And club members like Campbell Ward (fourth
in Northern Ireland beef judging in the YFC 12-14 years group);
Gregory Hamill (fifth in NI in sheep judging 12-14 years group);
Eamon McGarry (fifth in beef judging NI, 18-21 years) and Nicola
McCleery (runner up in under 16 art) distinguished themselves
The club's veteran members include international sheep
shearer Robert Harkness, international sheep and cattle judge
Fred Duncan, vice-president John Hunter of the Ardmore Herd, who
is president of the international Ayrshire Breed Society and
vice-president John Suffern another top Ayrshire man.
Gregory Hamill and Campbell Ward with
awards for beef cattle judging at the
YFC championships 2007.
They all learned their trade as young men at
Crumlin YFC which is today one of the most financially sound
clubs in the province after the sale of 10-acres of a 20-acre
Barley Field site it has owned in the Crumlin area for many
years to Antrim Council for the laying down of playing fields.
"A lot of members down the years met the love
of their lives at Crumlin YFC events," says present-day member
Christine Stewart who is helping to organise the anniversary
"Some things never change," she stresses.
"Still today members at Crumlin are having great times and are
looking forward to this anniversary celebration."
It was founder members like James Duncan,
Jack Manderson and Wilfred McFarland who got the club noticed in
the beginning with two hit agricultural shows in 1945 and '46 in
the village, the profits from which made the purchase of the
Barley Field possible all that time ago.
"The club has a rich tradition in stock
judging and the arts and drama, says Joan Ward. "There were
successful arts festivals in the 70s organised by Rita Thompson
and one act plays in which the cast members directed by Raymond
Stewart won drama events with actors like Bertha Ilarkness,
David Johnston, Sarah Graham Sean Murray and Robert Harkness in
dramas like Tickle your Fancy and Love and Acid Drops which are
still reminisced about today.
"In fact Crumlin club was so successful that
the late playwright Sam Cree, author of Tickle Your Fancy was in
the process of writing another play for our actors just before
his death in 1982."
Anyone who wants to attend the anniversary dinner in the Ross
Park on Saturday February 2 should contact either Alex Park on
07843611399 (anytime) or Steven Stewart on 07990813349 (after