News | Stalham Farmers' Club | Leading speakers from the agricultural industry.

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Driest May for half a century at Stalham..............................................................................

It was the driest May for almost half a century in east Norfolk, according to veteran rainfall recorder and club member Nigel Wright.
He recorded just 9.4mm at Church Farm, Stalham, last month – and even drier than May two years ago, which had just 12.5mm of rainfall.
Mr Wright, who is a former chairman of Norfolk National Farmers’ Union and was secretary to Stalham Farmers’ Club for 25 years, has looked back on his rainfall and temperature records from January 1972.
“May has traditionally been a very dry month in east Norfolk,” he said. “It is also quite clear from my records that average rainfall does seem to be declining in the first five months of the year,” he added.
The 32-year average shows that total rainfall from January was 243.53mm – and the 10year average for the same period was 234.79mm.
Mr Wright, who is also the club's vice-president, said that the driest May in almost 50 years was in 1974 when 11.17mm was recorded – almost the beginning of the great drought of the mid-1970s. Actually in May 1976, 29.21mm of rain was recorded.
Other recent dry Mays included 1980 with 11.43mm. There was a run of dry Mays in 1989 with 14.2mm and then 11.9mm in 1990. In May 1998, 12.52mm or almost half an inch was recorded.
In terms of annual rainfall at Church Farm, the 10-year average was 657.95mm and the 32-year average 696.25mm.
Mr Wright’s recordings of temperatures indicate that annual averages had risen about 1.5 deg C from around 9.5 deg C since the early 1980s to more than 11 deg C.
Entry added: 02 Jun 2020
A sign of the times. Farming's economic importance in Norfolk is often depicted on villages signs. One of our keen cycling members, David Faulkner has photographed a number of village signs showing tractors ploughing, with ears of barley and wheat. There are now 20 on the club's website. If you like to add your village sign to our photographic library, please send your image to tim@lfpapworth.co.uk And given the great success of the monthly photo library in April and May with a total of 144 already posted, it is planned to carry on with a new series, June 2020. Your help as ever much appreciated.
Entry added: 26 May 2020
EDP highlights club's photogallery - The beauty of Norfolk’s spring wildlife and landscapes has been captured by keen farming photographers – illustrating how the life and work of the countryside is continuing during the lockdown. Stalham Farmers' Club compiled the colourful gallery of images after former chairman Tim Papworth launched a photographic challenge to keep club members in touch during this time of social isolation - especially those who are more elderly and vulnerable, confined to their homes.
Entry added: 01 May 2020
A dozen of the best, now actually a baker's dozen! What a great result since the "Spring 2020" scenes from across Broadland and east Norfolk was launched on the club's website more than a week ago. As many of our members, including a number of elderly and those potentially vulnerable, are isolating, webmaster Tim Papworth issued a friendly challenge. Simply take a photograph on the farm, your neighbour's or your garden and he'll add it to the countryside portfolio of images. It has been a great success and more than three dozen have been posted including from the following - John Grier, Mary Beck, David Faulkner, Nick Deane, David Bond, James Brown, Ray Andrews, Richard Hirst, Robert Hirst, Ellie Hirst, Sally Mitchell, Louis Baugh, Alistair Wright.
Please add you own contribution by sending to tim@lfpapworth.co.uk To view the images, click on photo gallery (on the left-hand side) and it brings up Spring 2020.
Entry added: 21 Apr 2020
A natural cycle in Broadland - Bitterns booming and cranes calling - all part and parcel of life on the Broads. In our Spring 2020 photo gallery Louis Baugh said that bitterns can be heard from the back door of Neatishead Hall - as they've been vocal for the past month or so. And a flight of 13 common cranes was seen heading towards Barton Broad, he said. Other members including Robert Hirst, who sent a photo of lambs and a ewe, and Alistair Wright have been busy with their cameras too. See photo gallery on the left, click on Spring 2020. Please sent images to webmaster Tim Papworth.
Entry added: 15 Apr 2020
Look at our photographic talent -

A sprinkling of photographs has been added to the club's website in our latest feature. If you look at the Photo Gallery tab on the left-hand side, and click on Spring 2020, you'll see almost a dozen pictures selected by members and friends of the club. And if you're confined to barracks, enjoy some of scenes taken by our talented photographers.

Of course, if you'd like to celebrate Spring 2020, then send your photographs to our webmaster Tim Papworth at tim@lfpapworth.co.uk He's very kindly put up some photos of potato planting at Tuttington. A family dog is also photographed enjoying the sunshine and there's superb pictures of checking the sheep on horseback - not quite Australian-style - and some oilseed rape in full flower. Thanks to all, who have submitted photographs - please keep them coming.
Entry added: 12 Apr 2020
The late Hugh Crane. A full obituary of the club's honorary vice-president can be read - see left, under Past Members.
Entry added: 20 Mar 2020
The late Hugh Crane - One of the club's oldest members, Hugh Crane, who was an honorary vice-president, has died peacefully aged 95. A former chairman in 1984, he was a commanding presence at club meetings for decades and built up a major farming enterprise, now headed by his middle son, Nicholas, at Upton, near Acle. He will be sadly missed for his near-encyclopaedic knowledge of the agricultural industry.
A great supporter of the club's farming competitions, Hugh Crane Farms won the Potato Cup seven times - between 1989 and 2007 including retaining the trophy in 2002. A double winner of the Wheat Trophy in 1994 and 1995, he also excelled at sugar beet - winning the Cantley Cup for best overall performance by a member in 2006. His business also was a three-time winner of the whole crop beet trophy.
A chance diversification into a new business, which started in 1982, has grown into a major national operation, Hugh Crane Cleaning Equipment, led by his oldest son, Philip. After gaining the K.E.W. steam cleaning agency for Norfolk and part of Suffolk from the Danish manufacturers, the family business, which also involves his youngest son Robert, started making its own design of heavy-duty Commando cleaners.
Our thoughts are with his family. Funeral arrangements to be announced.
Entry added: 12 Mar 2020
Annual dinner postponed - At a committee meeting on Wednesday evening, it was unanimously decided to postpone the club's annual dinner and presentation of prizes from Thursday, March 19. It is hoped to hold the 2020 dinner in the autumn, possibly in October.
Given the rising concerns about the impact of the C-Virus, your officers and committee felt that it would be prudent to postpone. Our apologies for the inconvenience to all members and the club's guests for this decision. The secretary Michael Pollitt has informed all members, who had booked tickets for the dinner.
Watch the club's website for future diary dates including the farm walks on June 4 in north Norfolk and on July 8, jointly with the East Norfolk branch of the National Farmers' Union.
Entry added: 11 Mar 2020
Star role for former chairman - Former club chairman Emma Ralph has been invited to address the 2020 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November. Emma, chairman in 2007, spoke at the club’s 178th annual meeting. As the first woman to take the chair at the club since it was founded in 1841, she spent a dozen years at buying group Loddon Farmers, now Anglia Farmers, before becoming managing director in October 2018 of Europe’s largest specialist adjuvant and crop specialist company, InterAgro. Members elected Chris Borrett, of grain merchants Adams & Howling as chairman in sucession to Broadland farmer Henry Alston. Will Sands, of HBS Farms, becomes vice-chairman.
Entry added: 20 Feb 2020
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