Drinks flowed again in a former on-farm brewery to toast the success of two NFU Hertfordshire branches in their new home.
The Maltings at Hyde Hall Farm, Buntingford is the impressive new base for NFU Mutual’s Hertford and North Herts agency, with more than 20 staff working there on behalf of NFU Mutual policyholders and members of the NFU’s Hertford and North Herts branches.
NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw officially opened the premises, cutting a ribbon alongside NFU Mutual Regional Manager Colin Campbell and Senior Group Secretary Leonie King.
Praising the ‘incredible office space’, Tom told the invited guests: “We’re a people organisation. That’s what the NFU is about. It’s about you, our members, and the incredible relationship that the NFU and NFU Mutual share.
“All we want to do is put the industry on the best footing we can for now and for the future. We have to make sure we’re preparing for the next five years, the next 10 years and the next generations to come and this is a building that is absolutely fit for that.”
Leonie recalled how she joined the agency in 1995 when the Royston, Buntingford, Hitchin and Bishops Stortford offices combined into one office at Royston.
She read extracts from the old branch minutes on display at the event, including complaints about fertiliser prices from 70 years ago, Royston members voting to ban women from a branch trip to France in 1951, and concerns over cheap imports and low commodity prices from 1968.
“There is one thing that has got us here, and will still get us there, and that’s the drive to protect what matters, keeping the members and the policyholders at the heart of what we do,” she said.
She said that Peter Cannon, who died in 2014, was a big supporter of the branch when she started and it was fitting that the agency now occupied a barn on his farm. His son Ben and Ben’s wife Fiona, had been instrumental in converting the historic farm buildings.
Leonie is partner in the Hertford and North Herts agency with Kevin Mitchell and Rosalind David, Group Secretary for NFU North Herts.