I am lucky enough to get to travel all over the place as an event photographer. Some big events. Some small events. Sometimes I photograph BIG events in small places!
Eardisley would definitely NOT be a big place. If you Google it you will be told that it is in the Wye Valley, close to the border with Wales. That it is part of the ‘Black and White Village Trail’ with it’s timber framed buildings dating back the 14th century.
Wikipedia will tell you little else – other than the fact it holds a Flower Show each August Bank Holiday and that it boasts a population of just 695 people.
What Wikipedia DOESN’T tell you is that Eardisley also has a Young Farmers Club – and has done since 1945.
And the YFC 2015 were going to refuse to let this 70th Anniversary pass by without acknowledgement of their members from days gone by.
With a starting point of ‘No Money’ a year of fund raising events had finally led us to this Anniversary Dinner. And in a world where young people sometimes get such bad press you can only be staggered that these amazing youngsters ( headed by a committee where the oldest person was just 19!) could pull this off.
From that population of 695, almost 400 of them (397 to be precise) were sitting down to eat in a marquee looking like only a marquee can look when you have three generations of YFC Flower Arrangers in one village!
On the dance floor the ‘Next Generation’ were having a picnic
And as these Young Farmers of the future gathered for their photograph…..
….. outside the Young Farmers of the past gathered for theirs.
Speeches were given in the way only farmers can speak – one arm resting on the bar – a pint close by.
Tales were told of Young Farmers present.
And re-told of Young Farmers past.
Tales that some of us thought had been long forgotten!
And ‘The Doc’ – now retired – recounted in his own indomitable style stories from a life spent as the village GP. A life diagnosing and treating stoic Welsh Border folk , with ferrets in the bed, and who were ‘never ill’
And we were all reminded that for everything there is a season.
And the seasons will come and they will go. And, whilst the land will stay the same, these new seasons will bring new crops and new faces. And things will continue.
And no one will ever understand this better than Young Farmers -and Old Farmers – with roots deeply planted in their home soil, who spend their lives working just as their fathers and grandfathers did – in acres and not in hours.