Over 50 Yorkshire members of Farm Stay UK came together to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the country’s largest network of farm-based accommodation providers.
Happy 25th birthday. Pictured at the anniversary celebrations organised by Yorkshire members of Farm Stay UK are, from left, Yorkshire chairman Caroline Barker of Cundall Lodge Farm, Cundall York, national chairman Maggie Berry, chief executive Andy Woodward, Lisa Preston, of Pickersgill Manor Farm, Silsden Moor, who baked the birthday cake, and Yorkshire regional director Rosemary Hyslop, of Layhead Farm Cottages, Rathmell, Settle.
A silver jubilee birthday reception and lunch was staged at the Millstones Restaurant, Felliscliffe, Harrogate (Thus, Nov 20), when members – the turnout represented half of the total Yorkshire membership and included a number of founder-members - were joined by both regional and national Farm Stay UK officers.
Farm Stay UK originally started life as the Farm Holiday Bureau. The 25th anniversary event featured displays of memorabilia reflecting the changes the organisation has gone through over the past quarter of a century.
Founder-member Christine Clarkson, of Bondcroft Farm, Embsay, Skipton, who proposed the toast to Farm Stay UK, reflected: “Over the years, things have changed dramatically. When visitors first started to come and stay on farms, if the farmer’s wife’s Wellingtons were at the door, along with a bucket with some corn and a few eggs, they where happy.
“A bonus was a lamb in the kitchen by the Aga being kept warm and topped up with milk every hour. If this was to happen today, we would be untidy and the lamb in the kitchen would be regarded as most unhygienic!”
“We have moved on, offering very high standards of accommodation, many properties award winners in their own right. We are now a group of farmers’ wives who are true business ladies, which has been made possible with the help of our husbands.
“Over the last five years, we have held our Charity Big Farmhouse Breakfast in January, promoting both Farm Stay UK and local foods. At the last count, the total raised in the Yorkshire area was about £15,000.
“I see a bumpy road ahead of us in the present credit climate, but we are known as a group of ladies who are strong.”
Farm Stay Silver Jubilee Appeal to Former Members
Yorkshire Rural Support Network Looks to the Future
Outlook 2009 Looks at Challenging Meat and Livestock Future