Steeple Bumpstead
Agricultural Discussion Society

Established 1929

Newsletter April 1997

February 3rd......Supper Meeting

Our annual supper meeting was held in the village hall with “Poppies” doing the catering as in previous years. The venue and the caterers must be a winning combination because this year the tickets sold so quickly it looked as if we would not be able to find room for some of our “regulars” who always leave it till the last minute to buy their tickets. We managed to squeeze everyone in and 127 members and guests enjoyed a very sociable evening and we heard our guest speaker; Brenda McBryde talk of her wartime experiences as a Queen Alexandra nurse. We were enthralled by her tales and we all wished she could have had more time because she had hardly got off the D-Day beaches before she had to draw her talk to a close. We were also very pleased to see our chairman John Suckling with us again after his recent spell in hospital.

March 3rd........Dr Steve Smith (N.F.U.)

Steve Smith is not a medical man but an expert on transport law with particular reference to agriculture. Any aspect of the law is very complicated and agricultural transport law is no different. We were given a brief history lesson to put into perspective the rules and concessions that we have today, and why there have been changes made in recent years. Looking to the future; the development of fast tractors which travel at 40mph in theory (and faster in reality) has led to a re-think on who should be allowed to drive them, whether they should have MOT tests and how much road tax they should pay. After his talk we had an interesting question and answer session when the speaker demonstrated how deep his knowledge of the subject went. Most farmers are members of the NFU and we all enjoy finding fault with what they say or do at head office, but after hearing Dr Smith (and Barny Holbeche who talked to us a while back), I feel happy that we have a high calibre team at head office. I hope that they continue to fight our corner vigorously and I am sure their arguments carry much more weight when backed by such a wealth of knowledge.

Next meeting is the AGM in April (I don’t expect we will be squeezing 127 people in for this one). Now where did I put my notes? - I must get last years minutes typed up!

Stephen Graves (Secretary)

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