The year stated off with a Bang as we held our first major fundraising event "The Grand Bang Bonfire and Fireworks Party" by kind permission of the Parry family. Despite the muddy conditions, the night proved to be a huge success as we raised £1300 enabling us to buy our Tug of War shirts and subsidize this years membership prices.
We had our Christmas meal at the Holly Bush at Seighford and as per usual we had guest appearance from Santa Claus. However, this was no normal guest appearance as Santa’s sleigh arrived at high speed being towed behind an ATV quad bike driven by two little elves. Our next fundraiser was the Annual Whist Drive at Cotes Heath. This was a huge success as the room was brimming and raffle prizes and refreshments were plentiful and gratefully received. Here we raised over £400 for club funds.
The next major event was our skiing holiday to Val Thorens in the French Alps. Following a trip to the Telford Dry Ski Slope, Holly Blamire took it upon herself to organize a proper Skiing holiday for all to attend. 19 people went on the trip and we had a brilliant time and even managed to come back with no broken bones.
Once we were back off our holidays it was time to start practicing Public Speaking, Brainstrust and After Dinner Speaking. With help from Liz Edwards we managed to polish up our techniques and win some prizes at the Public Speaking Competition. Our next major achievement was winning the Club Promotion Competition at both County and West Midland Area level.
March arrived and it was time for us to do our bit for the community, as we held our Charity Muck haul. Although the majority of the people paid to go away as they didn’t want any muck on their roses the whole event was completely worthwhile as we manage to generate £350 out of 25 tonnes of muck! The money raised from this event went towards our chosen charity the Donna Louise trust
In April we held our 999 “Emergency Services” Fancy Dress Disco at Cotes Heath village hall. The night was a great success with well over 200 people attending enabling us to raise over £1300 for our club funds. May was an extremely busy and successful month as we were Float Building, Stock Judging and Tug of War training and getting ready for the Annual Rally, which this year was at Ellenhall Park Farm. Andrew Wright and Graham Parry gave us some last minute Stockjudging tips enabling us to win the overall Stockman of the Year and at the Rally, Louise Bebb did an excellent job as Rally Secretary as we managed to enter all the competitions and bring home six piece of silverware including the Overall Rally Cup.
June arrived and it was time for the County Show. At the Pre Show Reception we entered 2 teams in the “Stars in their Eyes” Competition. The lads performed a lively and energetic performance of Status Quo and the girls performed an X rated version of “Lady Mamarlarde” from the film “Moulin Rouge”. On the Thursday it was time for the Show Float competition. The theme was “Nursery Rhymes” and we chose “Old Macdonald had a farm Eccy Eccy oh!” We built the float at Tixall Heath Farm, by kind permission of the Collier family where the trailer was transformed into a giant hay barn on wheels and we claimed 1st Prize!
Throughout the year we have also excelled in County Competitions. We have always had at least one team entered for virtually every competition if not two or three on some occasions. We have come First in Netball, Rugby, Volleyball, Indoor Football, Club Promotion, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Fence Erecting, Stockman of the Year and the Show Float. We were placed second in Efficiency with Safety, Swimming, After Dinner Speaking and Silage Judging and third in the Display Board Competition and fourth in the Ley Competition.
Over the last twelve months we have manage to recruit over 20 new members from all different walks of life. They have brought new ideas and enthusiasm to the club and every single one has been involved in the club whether it be taking part in Competitions, Socials or Float Building to name a few. All the new members we have are a credit to the club and will ensure that Eccleshall YFC will remain one of the top clubs in Staffordshire in years too come.