Weston Discussion Group celebrate 70th Anniversary

03 October 2022

Minette gives a speech at Weston Discussion Group's 70th Anniversary

Minette gives a speech at Weston Discussion Group's 70th Anniversary

Weston Discussion Group was founded in 1952 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries as a way of transferring and sharing knowledge and best agricultural practice from the Ministry to local farmers. This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the group and to celebrate, it had a three-day study tour to Essex and a three-course banquet at Vale Royal Abbey with a celebrity guest speaker.

The driving force behind the establishment of the group was local tenant dairy farmer Geoff Parton who became the first chairman.

Originally, they met at one and others farms with many farm walks and kitchen meetings, but as the group grew, Weston Village Hall, which is just outside Crewe, became the usual venue.

Meetings continued at Weston Village Hall until the 1980s when the size of the group had become so large that other local venues (such as the now closed Hunter’s Lodge and Reaseheath College) were used. Today Crewe Golf Club and Betley Village Hall are the two venues used for meetings.

The study tour to Essex in June comprised 30 guests visiting an arable and commercial storage holding, Tiptree jam makers, Guy Smith (former NFU Deputy President), dairy Gold Cup winners the Torrance family and Kelly Bronze turkeys.

The dinner was held on 20th September with 140 guests, in the main banqueting hall at Vale Royal Abbey.

Following the three-course meal (of which the cheese course was very kindly sponsored by Joseph Helers), the guest speaker, NFU President Minette Batters, provided a fascinating insight into her life and her role as NFU President with a round of questions to finish.

Richard Edge, the current chairman of Weston Discussion Group, said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed this year’s celebrations in Essex and at the dinner.

“The room was full of Cheshire farmers and there was a fantastic atmosphere with people catching up who had not seen each other in years.”

 The dinner was sponsored by WFS Ltd, Nantwich Farm Vets and H J Lea Oaks.

Weston Discussion Group continues to thrive with new younger members joining all the time.

The group meets on the second Monday every month from 10th October 2022 for six months at 7.30pm. New members are always welcome to attend. Please contact the secretary Tom Selby for more information.

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