The WHS Young Farmers' Club - as told in "Janus"
N°: 14

Chris Snuggs - June 1018: I always thought the YFC a great club: close to nature (and what is more important than food?), fresh air (if you can call the smell of pigs fresh), and totally different from any other activity - though there was later a thriving "Animal Club", of which more later. And of course most boys came from London or military bases abroad and so were probably unfamiliar with farming.

And the YFC had some incredible marketing behind it. Once a term they had a BBQ down the bottom of Orwell Side to which GIRLS were invited. On that note, it is a monstruous calumny to suggest that I only joined the YFC for this reason, though I will admit that it didn't exactly put me off .......

I remember that we used to go to the kitchens after dinner and collect bucketfuls of uneaten food - lots of sponge pudding I seem to recall - then lug them down to the stys (sties?) and feed the pigs. Pigs are amazing animals: they are actually clean, sociable, friendly, cooperative, do no harm and are an enormous boon to Mankind ..... pigs do not in fact get the credit they deserve. Anyway, a number of staffmembers devoted themselves to YFC activities - for which immense thanks - and it was all a jolly good thing. But the YFs did lots of other things apart from look after the pigs, and we really need SOME ANECDOTES and MEMORIES to read.

However, I was surprised to find on doing this compilation that there are no "Janus" entries after 1965. Perhaps I should not have been surprised, but I left in 1964. Did the YFC die a natural death in the mid 60S after its presumed creator Jimmy Hyde left?? I guess there were just so many activities competing for boys' attention that something had to go. Perhaps the post-1964 boys can enlighten us?


NO ENTRIES AFTER Summer 1965 - was the YFC defunct after such glorious early years?
Summer 1965
Winter 1964
Summer 1964
Winter 1963
Summer 1963

Winter 1962
Summer 1962
Winter 1961
Spring 1961
Winter 1960
Spring 1960

Winter 1959

Spring 1959
Winter 1958

"THE RAIN in Spain falls mainly on the plain."

"The rain in Suffolk falls mainly on Woolverstone", or so it seemed to us, as the Club, recovering from one of its periodic hibernations during the winter, was washed into comparative inactivity at the beginning of the Summer Term. The net result of the soaking is that one of the seven pigs, which we are keeping at present, caught pneumonia (it fortunately recovered), and that many of the young trees which we are growing were buried beneath piles of sodden, windswept grass. This is now being remedied, however, but there are going to be a few curses hurled at the nettles before the job is done. Last term we entertained the Felixstowe Y.F.C. when we held a return debate with them. The motion that "There is no place for livestock on the farm of to-day" proved highly amusing although it is rather uncertain which side won.

We have had two film shows recently, one from the Shell organisation and the other, on the prevention of accidents, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. By the time this edition goes to print we will have held another of our sausage sizzles which has meant not a little hard work with the axe and saw. Mr. Double has been a very good friend of the Club, especially the Forestry section, and we would like to thank him for all he has done and wish him the best of luck in the future. We were very pleased to be asked to prepare a part of the County Y.F.C. tent at the Suffolk Show. The Club was again able to take a party to the Show. As far as we can tell, Club membership remains high and we have many willing and keen members. We confidently expect the Club's star to keep on rising and we look forward to a bright future.

 H. D. CLARK (Sec)

Spring 1958
Club Leader Mr. LORIMER
Chairman A. M. JONES
Vice-Chairman G. G. BROWN
Treasurer A. M. GLASS
Secretary H. D. CLARK

THE CLUB suffered a severe setback at the beginning of the year when Mr. Cobb, the club founder and leader, left to take up a new appointment in Cheshire. We wish him the best of luck in his new job and are confident that it will not be long a before he establishes a Young Farmers' Club at Cheadle. In his place we would like to welcome Mr. Lorimer, who already seems quite capable of filling what is a very difficult position.

The Club, in general, has progressed steadily throughout the year and our membership has been maintained. Club activities have been mainly on our own ground, the excellent results of our pig-keeping necessitating the appointment of a treasurer for the first time.

The older members of the Club have been, or have been pretending to work very hard at the Club's new activity - forestry. A great deal of money was extracted by force from the treasurer to cover the initial capital outlay but we hope that it will be amply repaid. We can now boast of a small plantation of about 750 trees. Some of the members have been busy with the axe but with rather more energy than skill.

A new event in our calendar this year was a "sausage sizzle" which was held in the open last summer. It was a great success, a good time being had by all in spite of the persistence of a squadron of malignant mosquitoes.

As in previous years the Club did very well in the public speaking competitions. The Senior team of Lewis, Jones, Coles and Wells came second in their section as did the Junior team of Harris, Weinberg, Johnstone and Lawrence. Inter-club relations were strengthened this term when we hold a debate with the Felixstowe Club (so much strengthened were they that one of the members received a suspicious looking Valentine from Felixstowe!). We were I think a little unlucky to lose the debate.

We hope to continue to keep pigs in the future although at one time the destruction of the guard-house seemed imminent. The Club is progressing steadily and has many very enthusiastic members and I think it can lock forward to a bright future.

NO ENTRIES BETWEEN Summer 1965 & Winter 1957 inclusive
Spring 1955

The Club is now in its fourth year, which promises to be quite a good one. On May 21st we are taking part in the Young Farmers' Rally at Woodbridge. A crop of peas has been sown and we are hoping to buy a pig in the near future.The Club is entering for about three things in the Rally: backing a two-wheeled trailer over a special course, cattle-judging and Suffolk horse judging. As only boys of over 141/2 are allowed to drive the School tractor, only they will be able to enter the competitions. We are not expecting anything spectacular this year, as there will he many older competitors.

Last year the Club sowed a crop of potatoes, which were harvested and sold to the School for use in the dining-hall. This year we ploughed and harrowed the "spud-patch" ourselves, and have planted a crop of peas.

As former readers of the "Janus" will have seen, the Young Farmers have been expecting a pig for some years. All I can say about this is that we are a few years nearer getting it than since the School first started.

The rabbits are living up to the reputation of their species, and we are expecting a litter by about the 21st May. We were hoping for one before this but someone mated a doe with a doe. Unfortunately the bees died last Winter. This may have been unfortunate, but we were not the only ones, over a hundred swarms were lost in East Anglia alone. We are hoping either to catch a swarm this term, or to buy one, preferably before the open day, when the Club will be giving a bee-keeping exhibition.


NO ENTRIES BETWEEN Winter 1953 & & Winter 1954 inclusive
Spring 1953

The main feature of the year has been the acquiring of some livestock other than bees - only rabbits, it is true, but requiring the same attention, feeding, and housing as other larger and more strictly 'farming' livestock. At the time of writing one litter has been raised to the age of five weeks, and we hope that this will be the beginnings of a small but profitable activity. The bees appear to have wintered well, in spite of one near catastrophe when the roof of the hive blew off in a gale. Again, we hope for expansion of stocks and a good supply of honey in the coming year.

As a result of this increased emphasis on our own animals, we have paid fewer visits to see other peoples'. There are two memorable visits which stand out from the winter, however. On one of these occasions we were all impressed by the stock at Home Farm, Freston, and on another we were equally impressed by the hospitality of R. W. Paul & Son, whose maltings we visited. It is hoped that during the Summer Term more 'working days' will be spent helping on local farms.

The organization of the Club has been expanded to include some First Formers, and J. Hansell was elected as Chairman. As result of two visits by the County Organizer the Club was judged to be efficient and active enough to be affiliated to the National Federation, and to be put on an official basis. And finally, we have been given two rooms exclusively for the Club's use, which we are rapidly equipping with books, periodicals, and pamphlets.


Winter 1952

Because of the youth of our twenty members and their urban background, we have restricted ourselves this year to studying the basic principles of farming, without delving into finer points. We have paid visits to various types of farms, have learnt to identify breeds of animals and growing crops, and have been shown the functions and workings of the main farm implements. A few boys spent a day helping on one of the farms, but unfortunately this activity was curtailed during the foot-and-mouth epidemic.

As for farming on our own account - most members ploughed a furrow at a ploughing demonstration. We have begun to study the secrets of successful pig-keeping, and we have at last gained some livestock of our own in our beehive. This has proved a most popular activity - probably because of the spice of danger involved in every manipulation - and some boys show signs of becoming first-class bee-keepers. And finally, all members really saw the complexity and importance of modern agriculture at the Suffolk Show - a new and enthralling experience for most of us.

It is hoped that in the future we shall be able to do more practical farming, be it keeping livestock or helping on farms, but at present we are fully occupied with laying that basis of knowledge without which we cannot really call ourselves young farmers.

R. C.