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

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Congratulations – Stalham’s lack of support in the bowls gave a walk-over to Holt & District Farmers’ Club. Joint organiser Stuart Ross presented the trophy to Matt Skinner on behalf of the successful bowlers at Rossi’s Leisure, North Walsham, on Friday night. Stalham's trio, Ken Leggett, Mike Mansfield and the secretary, Michael Pollitt, did manage to get points on the board.
In the 10-pin, Stalham’s John Lockhart stormed to victory with a first round score of 182, adding 101 in the second leg. Holt’s top two, Alistair Wagg and Roger Buxton were joint runners-up on 245. Henry Alston, chairman, thanked the staff at Rossi’s for a great evening and everyone for taking part. Sadly, Stalham fielded a total of just eight against Holt’s 28 players.
Entry added: 08 Feb 2020
Fancy a new club challenge - With the end of the shooting season, Stalham’s chairman Henry Alston is looking ahead to this Friday’s annual bowls/10-pin competition. Holt will be fielding two teams of almost 30, so please step up to the plate in either bowls or 10-pin.
It takes place at Rossi’s on Friday, February 7 (4pm for 4.3pm prompt start) and a three-course supper would be greatly appreciated. Skill is not absolutely necessary. The whole evening costs £25.
Please let the secretary know and if you’d like to bring a friend/ colleague or partner, so much the merrier.
Entry added: 03 Feb 2020
Summer farm walk diary date - Stalham Farmers' Club and members of East Norfolk branch of the National Farmers' Union have been invited to visit B&C Farming by Tony Bambridge on Wednesday, July 8. His daughter, Sophie and members of the farm staff will welcome visitors to Wood Farm, Marsham, at 5.30pm for 6pm. More details soon.
Entry added: 03 Feb 2020
Fancy a new club challenge - With the end of the shooting season, Stalham’s chairman Henry Alston is looking ahead to this Friday’s annual bowls/10-pin competition. Holt will be fielding two teams of almost 30, so please step up to the plate in either bowls or 10-pin.
It takes place at Rossi’s on Friday, February 7 (4pm for 4.3pm prompt start) and a three-course supper would be greatly appreciated. Skill is not absolutely necessary. The whole evening costs £25.
Please let the secretary know and if you’d like to bring a friend/ colleague or partner, so much the merrier.
Entry added: 03 Feb 2020
The meeting notes for 15th January 2020 are now under Minutes and Reports on the left.
Entry added: 17 Jan 2020
Double helping of potatoes! - Extra potatoes were on the menu for Stalham Farmers' Club's opening 2020 meeting. A total of 34 members and guests joined the chairman Henry Alston and speaker William Love for supper. The venison casserole with 28 portions served, with additional potatoes, was the most popular choice at Vera's Coffee Shop. Then, it was turn of Mr Love to sing for his supper as he told the 60-strong gathering of a week-long tour to the north-west of the United States looking at potatoes. One state, Washington, the second-largest growing region in the USA, produces about 5.2m tonnes of potatoes - at a fraction of the cost in Britain. But they have an scale, chemicals and crop protection products denied to UK growers, he said. A new member, Tim Kitson, was successfully proposed by Tim Papworth. Further report in Meetings, see left.
Entry added: 16 Jan 2020
The meeting notes for the 11th December are now available under minutes and reports on the left.
Entry added: 19 Dec 2019
Stalham Farmers Dec 2019
Floods, snakes and lions were among the hazards encountered by veterinary surgeon Graham Duncanson on his marathon 11-month fundraising ride to Cape Town.
To mark his 50 years as a vet, he cycled 8,000 miles from Hainford, near Norwich to the tip of South Africa – raising £14,000 for the Animal Health Trust.
He told 32 fellow members of Stalham Farmers’ Club that he had been supported on various stages by vets from the Westover Veterinary Practice, where he had spent 40 years of his career in east and north Norfolk. His daughter Amelia, who works for a Diss veterinary practice, also joined him for the journey through Italy.
As a newly-qualified vet working in Kenya, one of his first tasks involved taking blood samples from 400 camels. Soon, he became recognised as an expert in the treatment of camels.
Mr Duncanson, then aged 72, of Crostwick, near Norwich, left Norfolk in May 2016. His route took him through Holland and Germany, where the some of the worst flooding of the Rhine, was just one of the early challenges.
Having reached Greece after various incidents, he flew to Entebbe, Uganda, to start the final transit through central and south Africa.
Having invested in Teflon-treated tyres for his bike, which almost lasted the entire length of his expedition, he was fortunate to have just a handful of punctures.
At one stage, he ended up spending a night sleeping out in the bush – and woke to find that a lion was watching him with some interest.
While travelling through South Africa, and while riding up a steep slope, he realised that he was being pursued by a poisonous black mamba snake. The two-metre long snake, feared as the second most deadly snake in Africa, was making rapid progress as he started pedalling frantically to avoid this potentially lethal encounter.
A trustee of the Animal Health Trust, which is supported by the British Veterinary Association, Mr Duncanson was delighted to have raised almost 40 per cent more than his initial target.
He was thanked by Simon Daniels on behalf of the club.
Entry added: 12 Dec 2019
Supper invitation and last call for grain samples
Enjoy an evening with a difference on Wednesday, December 11. All are welcome and please bring a guest to hear our guest speaker. For the final gathering of the year, please support the chairman Henry Alston at the traditional eve-of-meeting supper and join our speaker.
A long-standing member, Graham Duncanson, will give his thoughts on “After 50 years as a vet, what to do before I die? He qualified in 1966 and then spent a career treating camels in Africa to farm animals in North Norfolk. Graham, who also cycled from Hainford to the Cape of Good Hope to raise funds for an animal health charity, has also written a string of racy fiction novels, starting with Mating Lions in 2015. Our meeting starts at 7.30pm but if you would like to come to supper, cost £20, all are welcome, including guests. We meet from 6pm and supper will be served about 6.25pm. Please let the secretary know if you’d like supper – and with your choices by 10am on Monday, December 9 – by email michaelbpollitt@btinternet.com or telephone 01603 486997.

Menu - Wednesday December 11, to dine at 6.30 pm.
Salmon & Hollandaise Sauce - Salmon fillet poached in white wine served with Hollandaise sauce, green beans, oven-roasted vine tomatoes and new potatoes.
Lamb Shank - Local lamb shank slow-roasted in red wine & rosemary served in a rich gravy on a bed of creamy mashed potato with root vegetables
Home-made desserts
Chocolate pudding - Rich steamed chocolate pudding served warm with a chocolate sauce and Parravani’s ice cream; Zesty lemon tart served with whipped cream; Cheese board - Local cheeses served with biscuits, fresh fruit & home-made chutney. Tea or filter coffee.
Entry added: 04 Dec 2019
Cheers - it must be grapes, says UEA scientist
A switch into wine production could be an opportunity for farming in Norfolk and Suffolk, according to a climate change scientist.
"Norfolk and Suffolk are probably two of the best places in England for vineyards," said Prof Andrew Lovett, of the University of East Anglia's School of Environmental Sciences.

Speaking at the opening meeting of Stalham Farmers’ Club’s 178th season, he said that climate change was already having a marked impact. With more than 30 years’ detailed weather data drawn from the two counties since 1961, clear trends had emerged, said Prof Lovett, who was appointed to the chair of geography in 2007.

While agriculture was a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, farmers have the ability to respond and make a major contribution to improve the environment.

In a 35-minute briefing on "Challenges and opportunities of a changing climate for Norfolk Agriculture,” he suggested that a dramatic improvement in food productivity could make a real difference.

At the same time, farmers could change their systems, he argued. For example, widespread use of cover crops after harvest and boosting organic levels in soils could lock up carbon and benefit the environment.

The weather data in Norfolk and Suffolk, dating from 1961 and again from 1981, indicated
the extent of significant change. It was now possible by using GIS (geographical information systems) to chart these impacts in specific areas of 5 sq km.

The temperature data was clear – higher average summer and warmer winter temperatures, decreasing summer rainfall and more intensive rainfall in winter, he said. With emissions of greenhouse gases still increasing, and particularly by agriculture, there had to be major changes to reduce levels of carbon
dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane, he warned.
One opportunity has been identified by a former colleague, Dr Alistair Nesbitt, who had studied at the UEA. He had set up a business, Vinescapes, which was working with farmers and landowners to established vineyards. Norfolk and Suffolk are among the brightest prospects for vines, added Prof Lovett.
Members raised £325 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance following a successful visit to its headquarters last month.
Entry added: 20 Nov 2019
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