At the beginning of the year Ashley YFC consisted of a handful of members. At last years AGM we were facing the brink of closure, as there were so few members. The few strong committed members were not prepared to let this happen. So with much enthusiasm and help from past, present and associate members, we made four promotional boards, in the shape of ducks advertising a New Members Evening in November.
The New Members Evening was held at a new venue the Chetwode Arms the evening was a huge success, between 40-50 people showed up for the fun and games organized kindly by Max and Trev and Donna.
In December we took part in the Pool competition, with John winning first place. Our Annual Christmas meal was held at the Chetwode Arms that was a really good evening supported by members past, present, and new. In the New Year we had a successful visit to the Club President's cheese farm where he and his wife firstly showed us how to make bread, followed by the members trying to make it themselves, making interesting sculptures out of the dough anything but traditional style bread!!! Then we were shown around the organic farm. Harry represented Ashley at the Clay Pigeon Shooting and was placed a respectable 3rd.
During March Ashley entered a team into the Fence Erecting competition, and we went on an interesting tour of HST feeds in Crewe.
April was a busy month with members rapidly preparing for the Rally and also the Float Competition. Ashley entered a team into the Dairy Stockjudging Competition. Then came the AGM where 10 members travelled up to Blackpool for an enjoyable weekend. This was the most amount of members that had attended an AGM from Ashley for several years.
May was an exciting month with Annual Rally being a highlight. Ashley members had worked extremely hard making things for this day, with new members keen to be involved. This of course paid off as Karina was awarded 2nd and 3rd Mel was awarded 1st and 2nd for static competitions. Dan entered the decorative T-Shirt Competition last minute and came 2nd. The rest of the club took part in various other Rally activities and all had a good time. Ashley as a club had entered more competitions than they have in many years; all this hard work surely had to pay off. And it did as at the Evening Presentation we received the Most Improved Club Shield and we also had the Most Improved Membership in the County. This was a very proud moment for everyone involved in Ashley YFC Everyone was thrilled with the achievements that we had gained as a Club, remembering distantly what Ashley was like a year before.
Float building was also widely supported throughout the club, with everyone wanting to be involved at some level. Even though we were not placed at the show all had a great day.
Officials noted the qualities of the costumes and comments were passed about Tiggers stripes going the wrong way, and how cute Eeyore looked!
July went by very quickly members taking part in the County Summer Social, we entered a raft in the annual Raft Race, and this year we did not come the last! Even though it is the taking part is the most important thing!
August was a pretty quiet month, all the secrets of the club were revealed at a Club Social Evening when John brought his lie detector test and some people were convinced they could out smart the machine. A mini bus of members attended Chase Young Farmer's Beach Party and despite the rain, Ashley members still managed to have a fantastic night!
I would just like to say a big thank you to John and Katie for all the help and support over the last year, also to Julia and all the County Officers for their help and advice, and most of all, the members for being involved, enthusiastic, having lots of fun and for believing in Ashley YFC.